Time Warner Cable subscribers in major US cities face CBS blackout

Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS-owned broadcast stations in several US cities including New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles, over a dispute about retransmission fees.

CBS took out a billboard in Times Square, New York asking TWC customers to complain

The ongoing issue regarding payments made by Time Warner Cable to carry signals of CBS-owned stations on its cable systems was not resolved by the Friday evening deadline, resulting in the blackout.

An estimated three million Time Warner Cable subscribers no longer have access to CBS, and in addition all 11 million Time Warner Cable subscribers have lost access to CBS On Demand and CBS-owned premium cable networks Showtime, TMC, Flix and Smithsonian.

A statement issued by Time Warner Cable read: "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. It's become clear that no matter how much time we give them, they're not willing to come to reasonable terms. We thank our customers for their patience and support as we continue to fight hard to keep their prices down."

CBS commented: "We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself."

Adding: "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 per cent increase CBS supposedly demanded — while maintaining antiquated positions no longer held by any other programming distributor in the business."

On Friday, CBS also took to a digital advertising screen in Times Square, New York urging viewers to complain to Time Warner Cable.

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