The fee dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable reached a boiling point Friday afternoon when an already-extended deadline for negotiations passed and the cable provider blacked out CBS and Showtime in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other markets. The move leaves nearly 3 million subscribers without the CBS channels.
A similar pattern played out earlier in the week, when Time Warner blacked out CBS in three cities before quickly reversing its decision.
CBS released a statement ripping Time Warner Cable's move:
"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 ... 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.
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 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."
Earlier in the week, a statement from Time Warner Cable offered the company's line on the ongoing dispute. "We offered to pay reasonable increases, but CBS' demands are out of line and unfair – and they want Time Warner Cable to pay more than others pay for the same programming."