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Time Warner Drops Showtime Nationwide, CBS in Some Cities, in Fee Dispute

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 2, 2013

Locally, this is important for Showtime subscribers on Time Warner. One of the stories on the situation is here. It includes a comment from Time Warner, but I have not yet seen a full statement. Below are the statements from CBS and Showtime.

CBS:

Effective 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets. We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself. Throughout this process, Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning – such as the fictional and ridiculous 600% increase CBS supposedly demanded – while maintaining antiquated positions no longer held by any other programming distributor in the business. CBS, for its part, is eager to make an agreement in line with the kind it has struck with every other cable, satellite and telco provider, and has continually sought reasonable term extensions to get that job done. This is the first time in its history that CBS has been dropped from a cable system. Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, has a long history of taking channels off the air – more than 50 in the last five years alone. It has also chosen to drop Showtime, which is owned by CBS, a move that is completely unnecessary and totally punitive to its subscribers.

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.

Showtime:

Showtime Networks' customers nationwide have had their services disrupted by Time Warner Cable today, when for the first time in SHOWTIME history a distributor has chosen to remove the network's programming – despite the network's authorization to allow carriage while negotiations continue. Our customers chose to subscribe to SHOWTIME, and Time Warner Cable in turn chose to pull our service from the subscribers we both serve. Attempts to reach an extension on negotiations were denied by Time Warner Cable, resulting in SHOWTIME going dark in major markets.

 

The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers, and will impact and inconvenience millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers in major markets across the country. Major markets affected 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, among many others.

 

SHOWTIME has been working in good faith with Time Warner Cable to work out a contract, and is deeply disappointed with Time Warner Cable's decision to pull SHOWTIME channels. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be denied access to new episodes of the climactic eighth and final season of DEXTER, and the most popular freshman series the network has ever had, RAY DONOVAN. Additionally, subscribers will also miss the opportunity to catch up on past seasons of HOMELAND before the series' fall debut, new episodes of WEB THERAPY and countless movies, specials and documentaries.

 

SHOWTIME has successfully negotiated a number of deals with all of the other major distributors, including Comcast, DirecTV, Cox, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision and AT&T U-Verse, among others. Time Warner Cable has taken nearly 50 channels off the air in just the past five years in disputes such as the one involving CBS and SHOWTIME now.

 

We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short, and we can all get back to the business of providing award-winning original series, hit movies, specials, provocative documentaries, and our hard-hitting sports programming to the Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers we both serve. We know our subscribers value their SHOWTIME programming, so we encourage them to call Time Warner Cable directly at 1-888-TW-CABLE and Bright House Networks at 1-855-222-0102 to ask that they restore our services. Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers who wish to continue their SHOWTIME subscription, should go to www.SHO.com/TimeWarnerCable for a list of television providers that currently offer SHOWTIME. We assure our subscribers that we are doing everything we can to restore their SHOWTIME services.

 

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