Time Warner Cable cusmoters in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas have lost access to programming from their CBS-owned local stations since Friday afternoon, July 2. TWC dropped CBS channels over ongoing fee dispute, with the former claiming that CBS is "not willing to come to reasonable terms" and refusing "to have a productive discussion."
TWC customers who want to see CBS stations will find their screen replaced with a message which reads, "CBS has demanded an outrageous increase for programming that CBS delivers free over the air and online." It appears that the blackout would last until the two parties reach a new deal as TWC adds, "We regret this inconvenience, but feel it is crucial that we let CBS know that we're willing to do what it takes to keep down the price of TV." Their previous deal expired at the end of June.
As a replacement, TCW offers programming from Starz and Encore in the place of CBS-owned Showtime and TMC on a temporary basis. Other CBS stations that went dark are WCBS and WLNY in New York, KCBS and KCAL in Los Angeles, KTVT and KTXA in Dallas, WBZ and WSBK in Boston, KDKA, WPCW-CW in Pittsburgh, KCNC in Denver, WKBD-CW in Detroit and WBBM in Chicago.
CBS says TWC's decision was "ill-advised," and notes that "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."
The network blames TWC in the fee dispute, claiming that the nation's second largest cable operator "has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinkmanship and distorted public positioning." It's reported that TWC tries to limit CBS' ability to sell product to broadband services and pay-TV distributors that could deliver content over the Internet.