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An estimated 6.
Advertisement Blackouts have become more common in recent years because of increasingly contentious negotiations over fees that programmers charge for their content. Media companies are paying more for programming such as sports while pay-TV operators face their own financial pressures as more consumers cut the cable cord in favor of lower-cost alternatives.
According to the American Television Alliance, there have been a record outages on various pay-TV systems this year. That dispute over carriage fees also remains unresolved.
A breakthrough in the carriage fee talks came as CBS is separately negotiating to acquire its corporate sibling Viacom Inc. Wall Street has been expecting a deal to emerge this summer.
The two companies, both controlled by the Sumner Redstone family, were part of the same conglomerate until , when Redstone divided his holdings with the belief that CBS and Viacom were strong enough to stand on their own.
But the television industry has changed dramatically in the last five years.
Now, Viacom and CBS are among the smallest of the major media companies. Earlier in the day, Viacom disclosed better than expected third fiscal quarter results. The company also benefited from its purchase of streaming service Pluto TV.