Time Warner Cable Drops CBS & Showtime - A Video Message From Showtime and Report

Yesterday, we learned that Time Warner suspended Showtime (and CBS) after a long dispute. Will episode 8.06 "A Little Reflection" air normally tomorrow? IGN reports: Cable companies and networks have gone to the mat before. Just a year ago DirecTV and Viacom were at each others throats, resulting in the satellite giant threatening to drop MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, Nick and a host of other Viacom channels. Before that even, DISH battled AMC, leaving many fans wondering if they'd get to see Breaking Bad that summer. They didn't. DISH wound up dropping AMC, only to bring it back the following October.

Now, Time Warner Cable seems to have won (with those using Time Warner losing) their recent game of chicken with CBS and has dropped CBS and all affiliate stations - including Showtime, TMC, FLIX and Smithsonian. During their most recent contract re-negotiation, CBS wanted more revenue for its top-rated programming. No deal could be reached, so Time Warner opted to black out the stations at 5 pm EST yesterday. Showtime's video message:

Representatives from CBS and Showtime have issued statements: “We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself,” CBS said. “Throughout this process, Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning. 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.” Read the rest after the jump.

“The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers, and will impact and inconvenience millions,” added Showtime. “Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be denied access to new episodes of the climactic eighth and final season of Dexter, and the most popular freshman series the network has ever had, Ray Donovan.” Both the dramas have new episodes on Sunday night.

Time Warner also offered up their own words - a rebuttal of sorts: “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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