After a week of tense negotiations, extensions, and all sorts of other problems that have been very prominent in the press, we are now seeing something that has never happened to CBS within its history: Being dropped from a major cable provider in Time Warner Cable. As of now, the network is no longer available in such major markets as New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas; not only that, but Showtime has also been dropped via its affiliation, which is one of the craziest things that we’ve ever heard of, given that this is a network that people actually spend a separate amount of money in order to purchase.
CBS announced the news in a statement Friday, giving a metaphorical beatdown to Time Warner by citing the dozens of shows that have been taken off of the air over the past five years, and also slamming the decision to deprive paying customers of their “Dexter” and “Ray Donovan.” Here is also the latter part of their statement:
“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. We will not sign away rights not granted to others. We will not give up our channel position or any other asset by which our viewers identify us. We will also not be subjected to pointless maneuvers like a series of one-hour extensions and mini-drops that do nothing for either side but annoy our viewers. We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short and that we can all get back to the business of providing the best entertainment, news and sports to the Time Warner Cable customers we both serve.”
Some other shows impacted by this decision include “Under the Dome,” “Big Brother,” and repeats of “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory” (which you can technically see on other networks, but still).
Personally, we’ve seen enough of these negotiations to know that both parties are at fault. CBS may be asking for quite a bit as the #1 network out there, and Time Warner may not be doing enough to satisfy them. We will say this, though: With the increased parity in viewership, it is becoming increasingly difficult for cable providers to offer programming at a reasonable price, which is why the idea of buying networks individually has been discussed over the past several years.