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Time Warner Cable yanks CBS, Showtime from markets

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, Aug 2nd 2013 10:35 pm

Time Warner Cable has taken a significant step in its negotiations with CBS

CBS statement on Time Warner Cable action

"Effective 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets (CBS remains on the air in Western New York). We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself.

"Throughout this process, Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning - such as the fictional and ridiculous 600 percent increase CBS supposedly demanded - while maintaining antiquated positions no longer held by any other programming distributor in the business. CBS, for its part, is eager to make an agreement in line with the kind it has struck with every other cable, satellite and telco provider, and has continually sought reasonable term extensions to get that job done. This is the first time in its history that CBS has been dropped from a cable system. 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. It has also chosen to drop Showtime, which is owned by CBS, a move that is completely unnecessary and totally punitive to its subscribers.

"What CBS seeks, and what we always have sought from the beginning, is fair compensation for the most-watched television network with the most popular content in the world. We will not accept less. We will not sign away rights not granted to others. We will not give up our channel position or any other asset by which our viewers identify us. We will also not be subjected to pointless maneuvers like a series of one-hour extensions and mini-drops that do nothing for either side but annoy our viewers. We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short and that we can all get back to the business of providing the best entertainment, news and sports to the Time Warner Cable customers we both serve."

CNN quoted TWC spokesman Eric Mangan as saying, "It's become clear that no matter how much time we give them, they're not willing to come to reasonable terms. We thank our customers for their patience and support as we continue to fight hard to keep their prices down," in a statement.

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