CBS Pulled from Time Warner Cable, Again

By Chris Ariens 

WCBS-TV New York via Time Warner Cable. 5:10pm 8/2/13

Time Warner Cable has pulled the plug on CBS. The 5pm deadline, which had already been extended once, came and no deal was struck. Viewers of WCBS are seeing this screen (above). We’ve made calls to determine the status of KCBS in Los Angeles and KTVT in Dallas, which were also part of the CBS/Time Warner Cable negotiation, but have not heard back. Update: KCBS and KCAL are blacked out on Time Warner Cable in Los Angles. TWC customers make up about 35% of the market there. In Dallas, KTVT and KTXA are blacked out. Also affected CBS O&Os WBZ and WSBK in Boston, WBBM in Chicago, KCNC in Denver, WKBD in Detroit, and KDKA/WPCW in Pittsburgh.

CBS Corp. channels were pulled from Time Warner Cable briefly Tuesday night, but were quickly restored. At the time CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves stated, “We are now at war,” with TWC. Both sides then set today’s 5pmET deadline.


CBS Corp. and Time Warner Cable both reported profitable Q2 earnings this week. Revenue at CBS increased 11%, while TWC posted a 6% growth in earnings.

More: CBS statement after the jump… “We deeply regret this ill-advised action…”

New York, N.Y. – August 2, 2013 – 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.