Time Warner Cable Kills Dexter in CBS Dispute

TWC, dexter, showtime

Last month, I talked about Time Warner Cable’s dispute with CBS. I’m sorry to say that those who have Time Warner Cable have lost not only CBS, but other channels as well, including favorite shows like Dexter which aired on Showtime. There have been many times that  DirecTV and DISH Network had renewed and renegotiated this is again all in the name of one reason: money.

Unable to reach a contractual agreement by their Friday 5 p.m. deadline, Time Warner Cable dropped the number one prime-time network in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets. The cable networks owned by CBS – Showtime, TMC, FLIX and Smithsonian – also were taken off the air in these markets, where about 3 million customers subscribe to the nation’s second largest cable TV provider.

TWC said customers who currently pay Showtime or TMC will get a credit for those channels in an upcoming bill, going back to the first day of the blackout. “We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself,” said CBS, in a statement. “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,” TWC said in its statement.

This is a good thing for those who have their contract running out with Time Warner, because you’ll be able to switch to DirecTV or DISH Network.

The contract only involves TV stations owned by New York-based, CBS Corp. CBS-affiliate stations owned by other broadcasting companies, even if they’re in TWC service areas, are not affected by the negotiations. “The bid-ask seem to be too far apart, possibly at a $1 or less bid from TWC and $2 or more asked from CBS,” said Robin Flynn, an analyst at research firm SNL Kagan. “Both companies seem to be using this high-profile dispute as an opportunity to make a stand and set the tone for future negotiations.”

Without revealing specific numbers, CBS said fees from cable companies should be in line with the popularity of its shows – including NCIS, Under the Dome, The Big Bang Theory, 60 Minutes – and denied that it’s looking for a 600 percent increase. “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,” the network said.

CBS is ambitious about increasing retransmission fees to diversify its revenue sources. CBS generated about $250 million in retransmission revenue last year and expects to top $1 billion by 2017. CBS urged viewers to call TWC to add pressure to negotiate, while reminding them of the shows they will miss in the coming days, the PGA Championship that starts on Aug. 8; and a pre-season NFL game between the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions on Aug. 9.

The following eight CBS-owned stations are part of the negotiations. They include stations airing CBS or CW network programming and independent (Ind) stations:

• New York: WCBS and WLNY (Ind)
• Los Angeles: KCBS and KCAL (Ind)
• Dallas: KTVT-CBS and KTXA (Ind)
• Boston: WBZ-CBS and WSBK (Ind)
• Pittsburgh: KDKA-CBS and WPCW-CW
• Chicago: WBBM-CBS
• Detroit: WKBD-CW
• Denver: KCNC-CBS

“The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers, and will impact and inconvenience millions,” added Showtime in a statement. “Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be denied access to new episodes of the climactic eighth and final season of Dexter, and the most popular freshman series the network has ever had, Ray Donovan.” Both the dramas have new episodes on Sunday night.

I would really urge you to buy an antenna of some kind if these channels can be reached with one. I would also say to you that maybe online viewing might work for you. I myself have had issues with local channels being removed for a short time because of contracts and I feel if it happens again, I will put an antenna on my roof, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about them, or missing out on favorite shows like Dexter.

Forrest L. Rawls

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