Three million Time Warner Cable customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and elsewhere lost access to CBS programming on multiple channels Friday as the cable provider dropped the network in a dispute over fees.
The nation's second largest cable operator said that CBS refused to have productive discussions despite a monthlong extension of talks since a previous deal expired at the end of June.
CBS said it regrets Time Warner Cable's decision, which it called "ill-advised."
As of about 2:15 p.m. Pacific time, multiple stations that carry CBS programming in New York and Los Angeles were replaced with a message from Time Warner Cable, saying that CBS had "demanded an outrageous increase" in the fees it demands to carry the signal of its TV stations.
Time Warner Cable subscribers in other markets were also affected.
In all, the stations affected are WCBS and WLNY in New York; KCBS and KCAL in Los Angeles; KTVT and KTXA in Dallas; WBZ and WSBK in Boston; KDKA, WPCW-CW in Pittsburgh; KCNC in Denver; WKBD-CW in Detroit and WBBM in Chicago.
Time Warner Cable customers who subscribe to Showtime, TMC, FLIX and Smithsonian channels were also to lose programming.
In its message to subscribers (pictured below), Time Warner Cable said it would replace the lost programming with shows from Starz Kids and Family temporarily.
The cable company released this statement Friday:
"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."
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