Time Warner Cable Blacks Out CBS Stations

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time-warner-cableTime Warner Cable blacked out CBS stations in a number of cities Friday, including Los Angeles, after negotiations over fee agreements broke down.

Roughly 3 million customers were affected in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Time Warner Cable customers nationwide also lost access to the premium cable networks Showtime, The Movie Channel and The Smithsonian Channel, which are also owned by CBS.

The negotiation deadline had been extended several times since the previous contract expired on June 30, but negotiations broke down and the blackout was imposed.

“We agreed to an extension on Tuesday morning with the expectation that we would engage in a meaningful negotiation with CBS.  Since then, CBS has refused to have a productive discussion,” TWC said in a statement.

CBS countered with its own news release saying, “We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself.”

CBS also said TWC “has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit.”

Because of the blackout, CBS said TWC customers will miss the World Golf Championships featuring Tiger Woods on Aug. 3.

Meanwhile, DIRECTV chimed in on the dispute Saturday in support of TWC.

“In trying to protect our own customers, DIRECTV has certainly had its share of these battles, so we applaud Time Warner Cable for fighting back against exorbitant programming cost increases,” a DIRECTV statement said.

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