A photo shows Starz programming on the channel that carried CBS before the blackout. A message to Time Warner Cable customers explains the switch.
Millions of Time Warner Cable subscribers in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, and other cities were without CBS programming for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, meaning subscribers could miss out on a lot of sports this week (see below).
The two companies failed to reach agreement over fees the cable provider pays the network to carry its shows. CBS said there are currently no negotiations with Time Warner, which stopped carrying the network in select markets on Friday.
Many folks said via our Public Insight Network (PIN) that this dispute will change the way they watch TV — adding that it's the final straw after years of Time Warner raising costs.
Monica Whalen said:
"I won't pay more for TV. CBS is not worth it. The cost is too high already. ... Why should we pay more for a channel that you can get for free with an antenna? CBS is not HBO."
Others have already stopped using Time Warner. Devin McKay, who currently uses antennae and Netflix, quit subscribing to the cable provider five years ago:
"This just further cements my belief that cable TV is a poor value and not worth the costs involved."
Time Warner Cable Inc. CEO Glenn Britt has offered to end a four-day blackout of CBS stations in three major cities Monday, saying the cable operator would allow CBS to sell its stations' signal "a la carte" to consumers instead of bundling it with other channels.
That would "allow customers to decide for themselves how much value they ascribe to CBS programming," Britt said in a letter to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves that was released to the media. CBS Corp. said it is formulating a response.
Variety digital editor Todd Spangler said the dispute highlights a problem facing the pay TV industry in recent years.
"With the proliferation of services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, there are increasingly attractive options for getting entertainment and programming delivered for a cheaper monthly price than you would pay for monthly cable TV," Spangler said.
Spangler, talking on KPCC's "Take Two," said for about $50, you can set up a TV antenna to get CBS programming.
Ivan Martinez wrote to KPCC via PIN and said that the Internet provides most of his desired content, for free:
MLB streams most of their games over the Internet for a fee that costs significantly less than subscribing to cable. Additionally, I rely on sites like Hulu, the CW, and CBS to stream my favorite shows on my time. I no longer structure my life around the TV, the programming revolves around MY schedule.
A note on CBSlocal.com said viewers would be "deprived of the opportunity" to watch key upcoming sporting events:
- Monday/Tuesday (KCAL 9) – Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
- Thursday, Aug. 8 (CBS 2) – San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks
- Saturday/Sunday, Aug. 10-11 (CBS 2) – PGA Championship
- Tuesday, Aug. 13 (KCAL 9) – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
- Saturday, Aug. 17 (KCAL 9) – Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies
- Saturday/Sunday, Aug. 17-18 (CBS 2) PGA Tour Wyndham Championship
KPCC's online polls are not scientific surveys of local or national opinion. Rather, they are designed as a way for our audience members to engage with each other and share their views. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page, facebook.com/kpcc, or in the comments below.