CBS and Showtime have gone dark after CBS and Time Warner Cable failed to reach an agreement in their deal negotiations over retransmission fees, which gives cable and satellite TV providers the right to carry a TV station's signals. Their previous contract expired at the end of June.
"Effective 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets," CBS said in a statement. "We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself."
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CBS had been given an extension until Tuesday with the expectation that CBS would negotiate. "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," TWC said in its statement. In turn, CBS said, "Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning."
Showtime, which along with TMC, Flix and Smithsonian will also go dark for subscribers, released a statement saying, "For the first time in Showtime history, a distributor has chosen to remove the network's programming — despite the network's authorization to allow carriage while negotiations continue... The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers, and will impact and inconvenience millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers in major markets across the country."
When asked about ongoing negotiations earlier this week at the TCA presentations, CBS CEO Les Moonves said, "I really don't want to negotiate in public. Conversations are going on. It's a very difficult negotiation. We feel like we should be paid for our programming. ...I hope we don't go dark. Conversations are happening between a lot of people today."
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