Los Angeles Business Journal

CBS, Showtime Go Dark on Time Warner

By Jonathan Polakoff Friday, August 2, 2013

The CBS broadcast network and Showtime premium cable channel have gone dark for Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles.

The signals were dropped on Friday after CBS Corp. and Time Warner failed to reach an agreement over fees before a negotiating deadline of 2 p.m. Pacific.

Negotiations were set to continue, however. CBS said it hopes to reach a deal shortly.

Local Time Warner customers lost access to KCBS (Channel 2), KCAL (Channel 9) and Showtime channels.

The network has also gone dark on Time Warner cable in New York, Dallas and other markets.

The two parties have been battling over fees; their dispute intensified Monday night when Time Warner briefly cut carriage.

CBS is reportedly asking Time Warner to pay about $2 per subscriber monthly in exchange for carriage of CBS stations such as KCBS (Channel 2) in Los Angeles. Time Warner currently pays less than $1, according to the Los Angeles Times.

CBS on Friday criticized Time Warner’s handling of the negotiations.

“Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning,” a CBS statement said. “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.”

Time Warner Cable countered that CBS has been uncooperative.

“CBS has refused to have a productive discussion,” Time Warner Cable said in a statement. “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.”