Time Warner - CBS dispute drags on

September 7, 2013

California residents who subscribe to Time Warner Cable may not be seeing CBS programming for a while. It has become increasingly common for cable companies and networks to enter into business litigation over fees that a network can charge a provider to broadcast their programming. However, as stakes get higher, these disputes have begun to drag out, and neither Time Warner nor CBS seems willing to budge.

Time Warner Cable subscribers in a number of major cities have not been able to see CBS programming since Aug. 2. Talks are expected to come to a head as the football season begins and the public pressure for an agreement increases. However, due to the fact that whatever settlement Time Warner and CBS reach is likely to set a precedent for other companies, many believe that CBS will remain firm in its demands. Backing this up is the fact that CBS is running commercials on the radio advising people on how to watch games using methods other than their cable service.

In an effort to save customers, Time Warner has begun running ads stating that about 200 blackouts have occurred in the last few years, so changing a service provider will not guarantee uninterrupted service. According to a spokesperson for the company, the vast majority of callers who are concerned about the issue do not cancel their service.

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Source: KFMB, "CBS blackout dispute threatens football fans", David Bauder, August 30, 2013