Blackout: Time Warner Cable Drops CBS In Key Cities While They Battle Over Retransmission Price

Goodnight, sweet prince. That's the message that was sent to millions of Time Warner Cable customers last night, as the operator and CBS could not come to terms on a re-transmission agreement. Essentially, CBS wanted more money per TWC subscriber, while TWC feels that CBS should cave; after all, CBS broadcasts are shot to those with antennas for free. Both sides have a point, and when stubborn heads collide, it's always a possibility that we end up going nowhere.

Now, Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets. And they won't come back online until a price is agreed upon. Here's a terse, harsh statement on the matter from CBS:

"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% 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."

This is looking nasty already, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. Who should you be mad at? Well, if you don't want your TWC rates to go up, you're better off lobbying for CBS to accept less.
Tags:  cable, CBS, twc, operator