CBS Goes Dark on Time Warner Cable

Aug 2, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"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


  1. Typical Time Warner Cable customer service. I went to their web site to voice my dissatisfaction with their inability to negotiate with CBS and today’ black out. I clicked on “contact us” several times. Funny thing, the link is broken. Amazing coincidence? I think not. I’m switching my cable service. Enough is enough

  2. So, Frances, I guess you have no problem with CBS blackmailing TW for a 100% + increase for their products? What if everyone in this country did that? Could you ask your boss (or your clients if self-employed) for that kind of increase? Would you be willing to pay double for your cable? Les Moonves is a jackass and will hurt his network far worse than what will happen to Time Warner – people will discover there are a lot of fine shows on other networks: USA, The Turner stations, etc.

  3. One has to understand that Time Warner is attempting to keep their customers rates from going up! Because, trust me, if they sign this deal, then every Time Warner customer affected will more than likely see an additional rate hike to offset this per subscriber per month fee. If someone like Time Warner lets CBS impose this much of rate hike on them then every other broadcast network will get in line and demand the same meaning ABC, Fox, NBC, etc.
    So these Time Warner customers could, if the other networks follow suit, see even their Basic Lifeline rates (this is generally where the broadcast networks are) go up by $5 to $7 per subscriber per month. Just a guess, but certainly a possibility.
    I understand where both sides are coming from as most of these broadcast network fees began after the government mandated all broadcast network switch from analog (in the vast majority of cases) to digital transmission, a few years ago, and the cost of that upgrade had to be paid for by the broadcast networks and cost millions and millions of dollars.
    Either way, it is a no win situation for the customer.

Leave a Reply to Les Cancel Reply

Email (will not be published)