Time Warner Cable Drops CBS, Showtime In Major Markets as Retrans Fee Negotiations Stall

Time Warenr Cable Drops CBS ShowtimeIf you’re a Time Warner Cable subscriber in a major market, there will be no Blue Bloods for you tonight. And there may be no Dexter come Sunday.

With the cable service provider and CBS failing to reach an agreement in their retransmission deal negotiations — that is, deciding how much TWC will pay CBS, per subscriber, to deliver TV’s most watched network — TWC has dropped not only CBS but its cable sister Showtime.

As reported by our sister site Deadline, TWC subs turning on CBS will be met with a message that says, “CBS has demanded an outrageous increase for programming that CBS delivers free over the air and online” — and then suggests people go old-school and rig an antenna to see the Tiffany Network.

As a “make good” of sorts, TWC will be gifting affected subs with the Starz or Encore channels, on a temporary basis.

CBS in response released a statement about TWC’s “ill-advised action,” that in part reads: “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.”

Showtime meanwhile issued a press release saying that TWC’s decision to cut people off from the pay channel, which has no beef with the cable service, “is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers.”

Per Deadline, at least one industry analyst says that if TWC “digs in its heels” and doesn’t roll over for CBS — thus losing leverage in similar future deals with other content providers — the result could be “an extended multi-week blackout.”

This marks the first time in history that either CBS or Showtime have been dropped by a service provider. The affected markets include New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, San Diego, Columbus, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Austin and Detroit.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Susan Martin says:

    Sounds like it’s time for Time Warner to lose a bunch of subscribers to satellite to me. GEESH!

    • L says:

      Switching is too much work… just get the digital antennae for 20 bucks and watch the channels for free

      • RS says:

        You can’t get Showtime with an antennae.

        • elaine22459 says:

          As a rule any movies that runs on Showtime will eventually go to HBO, Encore, TMC, etc. Showtime is Showtime because it’s usually the first cable movie station to run a movie after it leaves On Demand. As for Showtime series they are probably running on their own website. Or they can be access on online video sites such as YouTube.

    • Adam says:

      If only it were that easy. Time Warner Cable unfortunately practically holds a monopoly in a lot of markets – I’m in New York, and the majority of people I know have their service and hate it but can’t switch out. (And their service, in my experience, is unbearable. I thankfully was able to switch when a competitor moved in to my building.)

      • David B says:

        I wish I had the option to switch TWC. I moved to NYC a year ago, and prior I had u-verse which I loved and miss! If AT&T were available I would switch in a heartbeat. This monopoly of TWC is preposterous in this day and age. And now they dropped Showtime with all my favorite shows I’m even more furious. -Upset cable customer-

      • Plum says:

        Same in my town with Comcast’s monopoly; the cable companies have city, state and federal politicians in their pocket, or I should say had, now that so many viewers have migrated to portables and the internet people are dropping cable. All this does is prove it’s better to have Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or Neflix for 8 bucks each or even 24 bucks combined and have a huge savings over cable.

      • Aeol says:

        I live in NYC. Try Verizon or DirecTV, the TWC monopoly crashed a few years ago.

    • Tania says:

      I’m not choosing sides like you. Both need to get their collective asses in gear. I believe that CBS has been demanding more money even from the advertisers during the upfront. Can you clarify this for us Matt? Meanwhile, no Dexter for me this Sunday. :(

    • Kelly says:

      Better make it Direct…Dish dropped CBS yesterday for the same issue. Really tired of all these “negotiations”. Seems like more and more television providers are dropping stations as part of their negotiation tactics. Then putting them back on and over charging their customers. Why not drop some of the lesser channels we are forced to pay for instead? I’m thinking the best thing to do is just drop the television providers and get shows online.

    • RACHEL LEE says:


    • L R says:

      Time Warner a huge disgusting conglomerate who needs to make more money from its subscribers. We all know we have been in neighborhoods stuck only with Time Warner we have been held hostage and now after paying our bills and working hard all day we can not come home and watch our favorite shows. Time Warner should have Paid CBS as we have paid them.
      As customers we got rooked by TW lets all cancel find a DISH and get out of giving the Disgusting Conglomerate our hard earned money for nothing!!!!!!!!!!
      Let’s join forces get Time Warner OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Karen MT says:

        Well, sure, if you want your cable bill to go up $10 a month, because the fees that they pay CBS will then be passed on to you, the customer. They can’t just eat the costs.

    • Gayle Borraga says:

      If enough TWC customers would cancel, especially on the same day. They may have a change of heart .

      • Bugbear says:

        Some people are dumber than dirt. You’re all blaming TWC when CBS wants more money than any other network, even FOX now. Caving to their demands means $10 more a month for YOU the customer. If they do that they’ll lose even more customers over ever increasing prices and still get blamed! It’s CBS that thinks having A hit show like Big Bang Theory means they can ask anything they want just like Fox did for football and then YOU pay for it. You don’t give in to terrorist demands for a reason. It just encourages them to keep doing it year after year. I pay enough for cable. Satellite is no different. They all get charged to carry all stations even Networks that are free over the air (because no law exists to stop them from charging for re-broadcast rights). People need to demand ala carte channels so they only have to pay for what they actually watch. TWC offered to do that with CBS and let the customer decide if it was worth $10 for a free OTA channel and CBS REFUSED because they know that would make them the obvious bad guy. Wake up. Both sides are evil money grubbers.

    • lakawak says:

      Only an idiot would switch considering ALL the cable and satellite providers have been in similar disputes…and will continue to be in disputes for the future. I for one am glad Time Warner never rolls over and takes it up the butt for these extortion demands.

  2. Leigh says:

    I don’t watch CBS or Showtime so it’s all good for me. When does Orange Is The New Black return??

  3. Huh. I thought cable carriers were required to carry all local stations that had a certain level of viewership. Mom and Pop TV Shop with no more than a few thousand viewers might slip under the threshold but CBS affiliates? Surely some of those markets (aka, LA?) would qualify as “must carry” stations.

    • L says:

      CBS wants to be paid extra money for carrying their channels… the must carry thing revolves around carrying stations for free

    • Doug H says:

      There is really no “Must Carry” anymore… I don’t receive Showtime in my Charlotte address but do in Florida so I have access online… But it is silly that TWC dropped Showtime nationwide… Showtime subscribers better get refunds and Showtime has grounds for suing for loss of revenues… it’s rediculous… The only impact on the local CBS is the loss of the CBS On Demand… again punishing a market that does not have a local CBS owned station..

  4. Carm says:

    Glad I am not affected. I would be so mad since I watch Under the Dome, Dexter and Ray Donovan. Hopefully this will be resolved soon for the people who lost the stations.

  5. Mary says:

    First they let Cote de Pablo go, now they’re demanding outrageous prices. CBS sure is alienating people.

  6. Allison P says:

    I think they dropped The CW as well; I can’t find it anywhere!

    • L says:

      If CBS owns your CW station than it would be dropped too.. I believe that only Pittsburgh & Detroit CW stations were on the list

    • Stephen says:

      I Was looking online and apparently TWC is demanding that showtime and what not not put there content on netflix as part of the agreement. Thats just TWC being greedy! This means you can’t watch previous seasons of dexter, weeds, etc. They demand that they don’t put there shows on netflix…! Stuuuuuuuuuupid! Luckely in canada we don’t have this problem.

  7. Janet Marie says:

    I don’t even have cable anymore, Hulu.com, 52inch TV wired to an old desktop – only one of them that I don’t get is CBS – NBC, ABC, Fox, CW, most Sy-Fy, some FX are on hulu.com for 8 bucks a month. and, most are in HD w/out paying extra. Why the frak are ppl still paying 100+ bucks a month for cable?

    • L says:

      Well in my case it’s cause I watch all the sports channels.. you really cant get those through online streaming.

    • Babygate says:

      Because there are a lot of other channels that you can’t get online unless you are a cable subscriber. For example: USA, TNT, AMC, BBC America, etc. Including cable news like CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Network television is becoming increasingly irrelevant because of the quality content on cable.

  8. marie says:

    Stop being stupid!!! Get some rabbit ears and change the inputs on the TV. Problem solved.

  9. Karen says:

    I am so tired of the greed. TWC can spin it by saying they’re trying to save their customers money. The reality is that they’re just giving us a heads-up that our cable will be increasing yet again. For a company who profited over 2 BILLION last year, can’t they just absorb this and move on? What happened to the days of making sure your customers were satisfied? Goodbye cable!

    • Tania says:

      Oh that’s a given Karen. Raising the bill every year is TWC’s mantra.

    • Linda Baker says:

      Talked to my cable company and the lady at the front desk said “Oh this won’t last but look forward to hefty rate increases”…I asked her how come we don’t get a reduced rate since we don’t have these channels? Crickets….Greed comes to mind since Time Warner continues to charge me fees for using caller assistance that I don’t use. I check for numbers on line faster than they can. they take off the fees and next month put it right back on! Charged $11.99 for caller assistance that amounts to 10 calls. Funny I was at work when this occurred!

  10. Babygate says:

    I’m not affected but this stinks. They are both being greedy. I deeply dislike CBS which I consider to be sexist and greedy. They show women no respect and because they get the highest viewership (albeit in the much older demo), they act like everyone has to capitulate to their demands. Talk about a 1% mentality…

  11. Sick of This BS says:

    Do what I did today. Demand a refund from TWC for every day that Showtime is not provided. To heck with the other freebies like Staz and Encore. No one watches those dregs anyway. And then, give your House Reps and Senators an aybsolute earful. Make them earn their money and represent you (after of course they give themselves more healthcare and pay raises).

    • Aeol says:

      You don’t have to demand it, it’s automatically pro-rated. They’re not legally permitted to charge you for a service you don’t receive.

  12. 3dhouseofmagic says:

    I have CBS but my Showtime is blacked out. (Austin TX)

  13. RCJH says:

    I live in Milwaukee and TWC pulled NBC from us 9 days ago, and there is no sign we will be getting it back soon. They refuse to give bill credits and the customer service rep told me that they are probably waiting for a certain number of people to drop their cable before they will be willing to negotiate.

  14. Kim says:

    Pittsburgh and New York have the option for Verizon FIOS.

    • MrScreenAddict says:

      Verizon will not just set up an individual customer for FIOS, the entire building has to be wired for it, which usually requires a 100% commitment from all units in the building before they’ll even consider it. Trust me, my building is going through this very process right now — we were going to get a group rate with TWC, who only needed a 70% commitment, but after this travesty I’m going to push hard to get FIOS instead. TWC is just the worst.

    • David B says:

      That’s not true. At least a majority if the city on has TWC available :-(

  15. Larc says:

    That’s strange. I’m in Raleigh and haven’t seen any CBS blackout. I have it on now.

    • abbyhope says:

      Yeah, WRAL reported on the story tonight, but said we in the RDU market are NOT an affected market…. wonder if that will stand over the weekend. Maybe they just haven’t blacked CBS out here yet, but are planning on it?

  16. Jooshua says:

    I didn’t even know Time Warner was a cable provider.. must not be available in the Pacific NW..

    I know you can’t get Showtime with rabbit ears.. but you can get CBS HD for free.. so why is everyone acting like it’s the worst plan ever?

    Unless you are only worried about Dexter or Ray Donovan.. than an antenna is easily the best idea.

    • stephen says:

      i didnt even lose my cbs. Time warner is my only cable provider in maine. I can of course do satilite but i like my cable internet, and living in apartment is easier to get cable as had hookup and didn’t need owner permission to get it as hookup existed already.

  17. sladewilson says:

    TWC is reimbursing anyone who subscribes to Showtime & TMC. I think they’re both stupid and greedy but as long as I can see Ray Donovan on SHO.com and catch the CBS shows either online or pick up an antenna, I’m good. I just can’t get with CBS’ arguement that they deserve more than anyone else because of their viewership. The ratings game has been rigged for years – stop trying to play that card. As for TWC – give CBS a fair percentage that you already know you can afford without gouging your customers…

    • nick1372 says:

      What on earth gave you the impression that “the ratings game has been rigged for years”? I seriously want to know; who told you that?

  18. Evie LePelley says:

    im in Canton OH about an hour South of Cleveland. We lost Showtime but still have NBC. Hopefully they fix this before Dexter on Sunday. That would suck!!

  19. stephen says:

    hate i lost showtime since is a pay channel but ill take starz for now lol. That said i still have my cbs , i live in maine so i guess that must of been negotiated with local owners of the affiliate stations so im lucky there.

  20. Graham says:

    The most important thing here is Craig Ferguson said if this happened it will kill Secretariat!

  21. Pissed Off TW Customer...Except in This Case says:

    Lean to alphabetize! I thought Cincinnati was safe at first because it didn’t show up early in the list!

  22. I have read so many content about the blogger lovers however this paragraph is actually a
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  23. KM says:

    Due to their outrageous costs for programming, 98% of I don’t watch I think I probably need to just drop TWC. There are other alternatives out there.

    • Plum says:

      Chromecast is 50 bucks or so, the folks at Google must be dancing a jig knowing they’ll make a mint as people buy up those little Chromecost fobs.

      Funny that just as Warner Bros failed with a bunch of movie flops now they are trying to sabotage good television, which has been blamed for keeping people out of theaters. Maybe they think they can force people to get out of the house and go see Burt Wonderstone, Jack the Giant Slayer, Pacific Rim.

  24. arial2 says:

    Maybe if cable were like other businesses and not seemingly exempt from monopoly laws, we wouldn’t have these problems. I’ve never understood why other large corporations have to compete for business (like Walmart, KMart, Costco, etc. all competing in the same markets) while only a single cable company “owns” markets. If Time Warner had to compete for business with Comcast, Cox, etc. they’d be more concerned about keeping their audiences. As it is, subscribers have no say in prices or availability. Why do cable companies get to be so “un-American” while other corporations are answerable to federal laws against monopolies? Maybe someone out there can explain this un-capitalistic practice, because I sure don’t get it.

    • Janna says:

      Hopefully you are a voter and participate in your local, state and national elections. The only way it has a chance of changing is for Congress to approve it. They can’t even pass a freakin’ budget the way it stands now.

    • Richard says:

      The reason providers can “own” a market is that it is their equipment and their cables that are bringing the service. It’d be one thing if it was nationally- or locally-owned, but it’s not. If a provider wants to enter an area, they have to pay to get the cables there and set up a distribution network. They’ll only do that if they think they’ll get enough subscribers to offset the cost. If you really want someone else in, start a local petition and send it to the provider

      • Ron L. says:

        The customers pay for the cable, lines and maintenance of all equipment. It’s part of your cable bill. Just like other utilities the government allowed monopolies of in the past. It’s time to call/write your congressman and change the laws. We should also be allowed to pick and chose what channels we want to “bundle.” Like John McCain has proposed. (No, I am not a republican but agree with his plan.)

  25. Andrea says:

    I’m so happy I have WOW.

  26. Ron L. says:

    Shouldn’t TWC be giving a credit to their customers for not providing CBS stations? They should also provide the NFL games for free in their markets by using NFL Sunday Ticket or something similar. Not substituting other stations for replacements. We’re not getting what we’ve paid for. Sounds like a future class actions lawsuit to me. When are big corporations going to realize that the customers are the future of their business? Maybe when they are in the unemployment line? I’m not going to miss an NFL game and will take my business elsewhere.

  27. Will says:

    Why don’t people take this opportunity to go out and experience life, exercise, etc.

    I mean it sucks but jeez its not the end of the world, have some perspective people. *rolls eyes*

  28. Midori says:

    Pirate Bay.

    Screw them both for acting like children who didn’t do their choirs and still want an allowance.

  29. connerc says:

    What really ticks me off is TWC chose to punish its customers by cutting the stations on Friday afternoon and are not going back to the negotiating table until Monday. TWC also chose to punish its customers by blacking out all the Showtimes, eight of those, The Movie Channel, two of those, and Flix, when those aren’t even part of the negotiations. That shows bad faith on the part of TWC.

  30. Grace says:

    “This marks the first time in history that either CBS or Showtime have been dropped by a service provider. ”

    Cox actually lost CBS affiliates in a bunch of (smaller) markets earlier this year for almost a week when they couldn’t come up with a new deal in time. We had a thing on CBS’s channel that said basically the same thing as you say TWC’s is saying now.

  31. I watch ray donovan and boxing so not show time I have to change times warner cable at new company

  32. craigfuntime says:

    They dropped KCAL Channel 9 in my LA area. That’s where I got my local news!

  33. Caitlin says:

    And this is why I’m so happy that ATT rigged us in. :)

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  35. Mike Smith says:

    This was Time Warner’s choice, can’t wait to switch to WOW!

  36. Mairead says:

    I am sure there was breakdown on both sides of the communication, however it is not fair to just blame Time Warner. Showtime was demanding a lot more money for showing their content and it is Showtime that pulled their signal from Time Warner. Also if you check the CBS website it has stopped allowing TIme Warner customers to view their online videos. This is again only something that can be done on CBS’s end. What is wrong about that is that there are some customers who have the internet through TW but not their cable and these customers are being denied access to content that they should still be allowed to view.

    While I am sure their are people that are upset and I understand please do not call up yelling at the Customer Service associates. A lot of them have been there working long hours taking your calls and do not deserve to be yelled at. They are just as upset about this as your are. My sister is one of them and

    • connerc says:

      Showtime has a deal with Time Warner. TWC pulled Showtime simply because it is owned by CBS. Same with TWC pulling The Movie Channel. In reaction, CBS is not letting Time Warner’s internet customers see their stations. So, CBS is not completely innocent either. But, here’s the deal: TWC is the cable provider. Not CBS. So, customers who are missing their channels, over the weekend no less, have no choice but to call their cable provider. I think we all understand the people who answer the calls are just working there. But, we do have to let TWC know of our displeasure. Otherwise, TWC will think we agree with them. I have no sympathy for big companies, but it is TWC that keeps pretending they are doing this to protect the customer. They are lying. They are doing this to protect themselves. They will raise rates the same amount regardless what they pay CBS.

  37. Nicole says:

    “This marks the first time in history that either CBS or Showtime have been dropped by a service provider. ” – Ummm, No? TWC dropped CBS in WNY for FOUR weeks about 4-5 years ago. Try again.

  38. Kat says:

    UGH, both TWC and CBS/Sho suck….I had to miss Dexter, Ray D., and Big Brother tonight. TWC took CBS and Sho off the air and on demand. Showtime Anytime (online) won’t let me access the content because I’m a TWC customer, and CBS’s website won’t let me access their video content because I’m a TWC customer. Neither TWC nor CBS actually cares about the customer.

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  40. ofelia says:

    Im staying with twc maybe if everything they are doing is to not raise their cost of the premium showtime, we already pay a lot and I do not want to keep paying more and more everytime the network decides to raise their price…. I do missed Dexter but after all I can alway watched later on …and cbs I dont even care for that chanel..good luck to all of us.!

  41. ofelia says:

    all of you thinking that twc is not doing nothing for their costumers, need to read this information that just happenned today. This Is the link to the website. http://twcconversations.com/dispute/cbs/

  42. I hardly think offering Starz or Encore is sufficient “makeup” for losing episodes long awaited. I am paying for these channels. I am not being reimbursed. Besides legal action, there is apparently nothing I can do. Thanks, TWC. Maybe you will be buying my new yacht.

  43. Susanna says:

    Wow, not word one about the greedy bastards at CBS pulling the plug on DISH network customers in the Tucson, AZ (all southern Arizona) area. Not that easy to ‘just put up an antenna’….not with 9,000 foot mountains blocking the signal, even IN Tucson.

  44. Kyle says:

    I don’t think most of you really know all the details to situation and assume its greed on Time Warner’s end. But CBS wants way too much money and if twc accepts the offer that they gave, will result in hight cable bills not only with twc but with every provider. Because if twc pays that amount, it will result in CBS asking for the same outrageous amount to everyone else when the contracts run up. I understand showtime has good shows and that’s what upset most people because of the timing being in the middle of dexter but look at it this way would you pay triple the amount for something when the day before you bought the same thing for a third of the price?

  45. B says:

    Cleveland is large market left off your list.

  46. Tim says:

    just want to know where to watch Dexter, I’ve missed the last two episodes

  47. Chicquetta Gibson says:

    I think the only ones this is unfair to is the fans. both Twc and CBS have no regard for their customers.Twc for not working hard enough soon enough whether this channel is available or not you will still charge same amount to their customers and to CBS where would your shows be without people to watch them? It is also dirtyhsnded CBS to not allow customers such as mtself to watch their shows online because we have roadrunner internet as we are still receiving CBS and are not blacked out yet to me this disagreement is like that of 2 schoolyard bullies trying to determine who is the biggest one. Shame on both of you.

  48. richard suttell says:

    showtime is the number 1 cable series provider. if their absence conyinues and eventually yhreatens homeland- direct tv will be my new provider. I continue to pay for showtime- no credit fro time warner and no information as to the negotiation. we are treated like mushrooms

  49. att uverse says:

    Signed up for ATT Uverse at the new apartment. So far, is much cheaper than TWC, will see if works as well/better.

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