It seems like cable companies are always having trouble striking deals with TV networks but this giant fail is especially ridiculous: Time Warner Cable has removed CBS from its channel lineup in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, etc. and Showtime from its nationwide cable service. That's pretty embarrassing, even for Time Warner.
Of course, like with all other cable company vs TV network battles, we don't really know which side to believe since the only side that matters to us lowly television watcher is the "what the hell, I pay more than $100 a month to this shitjob cable company and I still can't watch The Big Bang Theory or Homeland" side. Sadly, neither Time Warner or CBS really gives a crap about that side.
Time Warner has said that CBS is asking for ridiculous fee increases, claiming that CBS is asking for 600% more than what TWC is paying for other CBS stations across the country (and really, you can get CBS for free with an antenna). According to CNET, CBS claims Time Warner is engaging in a "public campaign of disinformation and voodoo mathematics (featuring wildly inflated percentages)". Actually, here's the rest of CBS' statement, as given by spokesperson Shannon Jacobs to CNET. It's a good one:
"Time Warner Cable seems incapable of accepting the concept that the value of a company's programming should be in line with its popularity. It is no mystery why this company has dropped more than 50 television stations from its service in the last five years alone, some as recently as last week. CBS remains resolute in the pursuit of fair compensation for our programming and will use the full resources available to us to make sure that Time Warner Cable subscribers are aware of its short-sighted, anti-consumer strategy."
That is as ugly as it gets between giant corporations. But what does that ugliness mean for YOU? Here's a nifty chart from TWC breaking it down:
The full list of cities without CBS on TWC are: New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Anyway. Time Warner and CBS have been trying to work out a deal for weeks with multiple extensions (which means they totally could have avoided this) but they've so obviously failed. As of midnight ET today, many of Time Warner Cable customers won't be getting CBS anymore. I guess it's time to put up rabbit ear antennas to watch TV again. [Press Release, Time Warner Cable]
Update: Haha. The ridiculousness of this situation has gotten more ridiculous. Time Warner said that it has suspended a programming blackout at CBS' request. [@CNET]
Update 2: Here's TWC's latest statement, courtesy of The Wrap:
"At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels. I'll update you when I have more information I can share," TWC said in a statement. "Thanks very much for your patience everyone."