As the CBS blackout for Time Warner Cable customers continues into its third week because of an unsettled contract dispute, nearly three million subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities cannot watch programming on one of the Big Four networks.
According to reports, TWC is paying 50 cents a month for each subscriber, and demands from CBS would raise the fee to $1. There is also a dispute over how Time Warner can deliver CBS content to its customers via other platforms, such as the Internet and mobile apps.
Some Time Warner customers have switched to alternative methods to get CBS programming, but the network has even tried to stifle those attempts. People using an IP address from the cable company have been blocked from accessing CBS on the web.
And one caller to this newspaper said that they tried to use a digital antennae to watch the final round of the PGA championship over the free airwaves, only to find that CBS had replaced the golf tournament on that platform with nonstop weather and traffic reports.
Now CBS is going after viewers who might not even be Time Warner customers, but simply someone who decided to forgo cable altogether and be content with using the old method of a pair of rabbit ears.
That’s pretty low, CBS, and we have to cry foul on that.
What’s becoming increasingly clear to us is that CBS is trying to make up for dwindling ad revenues and competition from services like Hulu, Netflix and on-demand viewing, to name a few, by demanding more from companies like Time Warner and DirecTV for their content – the same content that CBS, in many cases, provides for free on its own website.
So the two companies continue their stalemate, and once again the people who lose out are the customers.