CBS Shuts Down in NY, LA, and other Cities Over Budget Fight

Via: NY Daily News

CBS has been shut down in some of the biggest American cities of New York and Los Angeles.

Time Warner Cable yanked CBS off of its system Friday at 5:04 p.m. — finally making good on its threat to pull the plug on the network and other channels owned by the broadcaster because of a nasty contractual dispute.

In addition to blacking out WCBS in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and five other markets, the cable company also clicked off WLNY/Ch. 55 locally and Showtime across the nation.

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In New York, viewers who had been watching the local news were suddenly greeted with a message from Time Warner:

We regret this inconvenience, but feel it is crucial that we let CBS know that we’re willing to do what it takes to keep down the price of TV.”

In a statement, cable company officials said, “We agreed to an extension on Tuesday morning with the expectation that we would engage in a meaningful negotiation with CBS. Since then, CBS has refused to have a productive discussion. It’s become clear that no matter how much time we give them, they’re not willing to come to reasonable terms.”

CBS soon countered: “We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself.”

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The network’s sister channel Showtime also blasted Time Warner Cable. “The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers,” officials said, “and will impact and inconvenience millions of Time Warner Cable subscribers in major markets across the country.”

If the blackout lasts, Time Warner subscribers will miss coverage of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational featuring Tiger Woods — a ratings bonanza that the golf great was leading by seven strokes.

Other top rated programs that have gone dark include “Big Brother” and “Under the Dome.”

The companies have been battling for weeks behind closed doors trying to extend their contract for retransmission fees, the money that cable and satellite TV providers pay TV station owners for the right to carry their signals. Although their most recent deal expired at the end of June, the network was kept on the cable company’s lineup as the talks continued. Both sides have set several deadlines in the last few weeks that were continuously delayed at the last minute.

Industry experts estimate CBS is paid about 88 cents per cable subscriber per month for the rights. TWC has claimed CBS wants to raise the fee as much as 600% — a figure CBS denies.

However, since CBS has been shut off, TWC customers have the privilege of enjoying the Starz channels for FREE!!! (We didn’t really watch CBS anyway)

 

Source: NY Daily News