In a shockingly bold move, Time Warner Cable has decided to drop CBS from its list of available programming in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.

In a shockingly bold move, Time Warner Cable has decided to drop CBS from its list of available programming in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.

This leaves roughly 3 million viewers without access to CBS’s network programming, and Time Warner Cable subscribers in all markets will lose Showtime, TMC, FLIX, and Smithsonian.

Time Warner Cable says that “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 customers who turn to CBS will see a graphic saying that “CBS has demanded an outrageous increase for programming that CBS delivers free over the air and online.” It tells viewers that they can use an antenna to see CBS.

CBS responded, stating that the cable company “has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning – such as the fictional and ridiculous 600% increase CBS supposedly demanded – while maintaining antiquated positions no longer held by any other programming distributor in the business.” The broadcaster adds it wants “fair compensation for the most-watched television network with the most popular content in the world. We will not accept less.”

The complete statement from CBS:

New York, N.Y. – August 2, 2013 – Effective 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and several other markets. We deeply regret this ill-advised action, which is injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself. Throughout this process, Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning – such as the fictional and ridiculous 600% increase CBS supposedly demanded – while maintaining antiquated positions no longer held by any other programming distributor in the business. CBS, for its part, is eager to make an agreement in line with the kind it has struck with every other cable, satellite and telco provider, and has continually sought reasonable term extensions to get that job done. This is the first time in its history that CBS has been dropped from a cable system. Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, has a long history of taking channels off the air – more than 50 in the last five years alone. It has also chosen to drop Showtime, which is owned by CBS, a move that is completely unnecessary and totally punitive to its subscribers.

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 will not sign away rights not granted to others. We will not give up our channel position or any other asset by which our viewers identify us. We will also not be subjected to pointless maneuvers like a series of one-hour extensions and mini-drops that do nothing for either side but annoy our viewers. We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short and that we can all get back to the business of providing the best entertainment, news and sports to the Time Warner Cable customers we both serve.

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Rob Logan

Rob is a movie buff, computer whiz, gamer, huge Batman fan, and above all... a geek. In addition to being the Founder and Host of The Geek Generation, he is also a photographer, graphic designer, certified clinical hypnotherapist, a former professional wrestler, and a current superhero.

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