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