Is CBS Blocking Shows From Your DVR?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

John Sciacca at Sound & Vision says his DVR no longer lets him record his favorite show, Survivor. Sciacca claims that despite setting his Time Warner box to record every episode of the reality show, when the time comes, it acts as if there is nothing to record. Sometimes, he says, the record light even goes on during the show, but it isn't saved to the hard drive. Apparently he's not the only one stuck without Survivor.

Following Sciacca's advice, I ran a Google search for "'Survivor' 'dvr' 'didn't record'", and found several message board posts detailing similar problems. The issue is present in other DVR types as well, including DirecTV and standalone TiVo. However, some other users say that they haven't experienced any problems with their time-shifted Survivor eps at all. To make sure this problem was confined to Survivor, I checked other popular shows like Lost and American Idol, and came up empty-handed.

We've put in a call to CBS to explain this paranormal activity, and the folks there are looking into the problem. Sciacca suggests that this may be a case of altering show metadata to instruct DVRs to stop recording—in the past, networks have been known to alter their programming to stop DVR users from getting content (and skipping ads)—but we will reserve judgment until we hear more. In the meantime, if you've been experiencing similar problems, please share. [Sound & Vision]