The coincidence was not lost on anyone who has caught a glimpse of ESPN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the U.S. Open tennis championships this week. The chairs of the umpires on the televised courts are splattered with the Time Warner Cable logo on all sides, making it visible in virtually any wide shot from the tournament — an awkward reminder that some of the biggest U.S. Open matches may not be available to TWC customers as the other network of the major, CBS, has been blocked on TWC in a carriage dispute since August 2. The first day of CBS’ coverage is tomorrow, and for now it doesn’t look like a deal between the network and TWC is imminent. But there have been positive signs over the past few days with active conversations between the two sides, sources say. The talks got a push today by a resolution by an LA City Council committee, which urged the FCC to step in to the drawn-out dispute. The committee is asking that CBS and TWC be invited to speak on the issue when it goes to the City Council on Tuesday. The biggest impetus for reaching a deal will likely not come in the form of a resolution, however, but rather from CBS programming that millions of TWC customers will be furious about losing. Next weekend are the U.S. Open’s semifinals and finals and the kickoff of the NFL football season. With so much marquee sports programming on the line (and a Manning brothers face-off in Week 2 of the NFL season), the two sides may finally reach an agreement. NFL stars are already featured in ads urging TWC customers to switch to another provider if they don’t want to miss the beginning of the 2013 regular season.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.