CBS Goes Dark on Time Warner Cable LA Times

"Unable to come to terms on a new distribution agreement, CBS-owned channels have gone dark on Time Warner Cable systems around the country, including [in the nation's two largest cities] Los Angeles and New York City," reports our good friend Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.

The story continues, "CBS said the service was suspended around 5 p.m. Eastern time. Both sides then issued statements blaming the other for being unreasonable in the negotiations, which were extended from Monday." Click here to read CBS's statement on the Time Warner action. To see a statement that Time Warner Cable gave its subs, see the picture at the end of this item, below.

The article adds, "Other channels that were dropped include the CBS-owned cable channels Showtime, The Movie Channel (TMC) and the CBS Sports Network. The dispute covers only CBS-owned channels. CBS affiliates that are carried by Time Warner Cable are not part of this fight.

"Time Warner Cable said customers who receive Showtime and TMC, both of which are sold on an a la carte basis, would receive a credit retroactive to the first day of the blackout. In the meantime, Time Warner Cable is offering the pay channels Starz and Encore in the place of Showtime and TMC. The company did not say whether it would offer a rebate to subscribers for the CBS TV stations."

Flint's story also says: "CBS is seeking a significant increase from its last deal with Time Warner Cable, signed five years ago. CBS is currently getting less than $1 per subscriber, per month from Time Warner Cable and would like to get that figure into the $2 range over the life of its next contract. The network noted that it has managed to negotiate deals with several other distributors including satellite broadcasters Dish Network and DirecTV and New York cable operator Cablevision Systems. 'This is the first time in its history that CBS has been dropped from a cable system,' the network said, adding that 'Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, has a long history of taking channels off the air -- more than 50 in the last five years alone.'"

Please click on the link to Flint's story above to read more details. Here's a picture of a TV screen that some Time Warner subs got when CBS was dropped this afternoon. The photo ran with the L.A. Times story:

cbs-time warner cable dispute.jpg