It's summer, so that of course means it's time for another dispute between a cable provider and a popular content provider. As per usual, the people hurt most by this petty bickering between mega corporations are consumers whose only desire is to watch their favorite shows in peace. Sigh.
Today's conflict involves Time Warner Cable (one of the largest TV providers in the USA) and CBS Corporation (who owns the broadcast network of the same name, along with cable channels like Showtime, and The Movie Channel). The story is a familiar one; CBS wants more money from TWC for its programming and TWC has balked because the hit to their bottom line would likely lead to increased monthly rates for subscribers. Yesterday, the cable giant took the drastic step of completely blacking out Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc. from its nearly 12 million customers nationwide. This also effects the subscribers of Bright House Networks, which allows the more influential TWC to negotiate carriage deals on its behalf.
The actual CBS stations on TWC and BHN are a slightly different story, as not all local CBS affiliates are owned by CBS itself. For instance, I myself am a BHN customer, and my CBS station is still active. Still, there are going to be millions of angry 'Under the Dome' fans yelling at TWC and BHN on Monday night if this isn't resolved by then. Fans won't be able to watch the show online either, as CBS is also blocking full episodes on CBS.com from being viewed by anyone affected by the blackout.
For Showtime fans, this is an especially terrible time to lose the network. The much hyped final season of 'Dexter' airs another episode tonight, as does recently debuted hit 'Ray Donovan.' If there's one group of fans corporate suits don't want to annoy, it's probably hardcore 'Dexter' followers.
One factor that has caused TWC to receive much derision online is that CBS told them they could continue to carry the aforementioned channels during the ongoing negotiation process. For whatever reason, TWC said no to that idea.
Who do you think is more to blame for this impasse? Will it be resolved before next Sunday's 'Dexter?