CBS Consumer-Perception Score Goes Negative as Time Warner Cable Blackout Drags On

CBS Consumer-Perception Score Goes Negative Time

The Eye has dropped on YouGov's consumer survey as standoff with cable operator in third week

CBS now has a blacker eye among some viewers, as the contract dispute with Time Warner Cable — which has left its stations dark for more than 3 million cable subscribers — stretches into its third week.

In the week following the Aug. 2 blackout of CBS stations in New York, L.A. and Dallas, the Eye dropped to a neutral consumer-perception score while Time Warner Cable’s sank to minus-7, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex research service. But CBS as of Monday now has a relative score of minus-5 on the survey — its lowest point since August 2011. Time Warner Cable, at minus-10, is at its lowest point since January 2011.

In a statement, CBS said, “We know viewers are frustrated; we are too. Our goal continues to be to reconnect our audience with their favorite CBS news, sports and entertainment programming as soon as possible. Our decline in perception is clearly tied to this difficult issue and should be temporary; we believe (Time Warner Cable’s) is chronic.”

SEE ALSO: Why the FCC Is Not Taking Action to End the CBS Blackout on Time Warner Cable

The companies failed to reach a deal after weeks of talks and extended deadlines. The blackout of CBS stations on Time Warner Cable was the first for the Eye in nearly a decade; the cable company also pulled Showtime and three other CBS-owned cable networks from lineups nationwide. In retaliation, CBS.com began blocking all Time Warner Cable broadband customers from accessing full-length episodes.

Industry analysts speculate that CBS and Time Warner Cable will reach a deal before the start of the NFL regular season, which kicks off for the Eye on Sept. 8.

Even with the Time Warner Cable blackout, CBS’s ratings have mostly held steady. On Monday, the Eye’s “Under the Dome” won the night in key demos amid weaker offerings from other networks.

While CBS and Time Warner Cable’s scores have dropped on the YouGov survey, DirecTV’s has climbed from 7 to 9 since late July and Verizon FiOS has increased from 4 to 5. Showtime, meanwhile, has declined from 7 to 4 since the end of July.

YouGov’s BrandIndex score is a weighted metric (ranging from minus-100 to 100) indicating relative positive or negative perception. Survey respondents are asked, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

SEE ALSO: Time Warner Cable Subscribers Sue Over CBS, Showtime Blackout

On “The Late Show” on CBS Monday, David Letterman joshed about the prolonged blackout at the top of his opening monologue, calling the cable company “evil goons.”

“If you don’t put CBS back on your cable TV, night after night after night I will say nasty, awful things about you — that no one will see,” Letterman quipped, adding, “Time Warner (Cable) is now more hated in New York City than A-Rod.” Watch the clip:

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  1. Anthony says:

    Thanks, A very useful information .

  2. Ed says:

    This won’t be an issue for CBS until the new season starts. The real question is what will happen at Direct TV and Dish Network when CBS & TWC settle. Will they be next or will they just roll over when their contracts are up? One can just hope that the CBS Board does not allow these eventual increases to be used to line CBS’s top executive’s pockets.

  3. Josh says:

    I’m not sure how easy this is to implement – but why won’t cable service providers just tweak their cable boxes with an antenna to receive HD signals from broadcast networks – basically saving the customer from purchasing a separate antenna and having to change inputs on their TVs? Won’t this save them from having these nasty re-transmission negotiations and from having to pay re-transmission fees? And cable customers can still use their DVRs to record shows aired on broadcast networks. I wonder how much money it would cost to make these upgrades to the cable boxes vs paying re-transmission fees to every broadcast station?

  4. David says:

    Don’t people understand that they can still get CBS by using an antenna?

    • Ken says:

      Yes, we can get CBS with an antenna. We cannot get Showtime, Smithsonian, and several other channels with the antenna. More then CBS has been pulled. We have also been blocked from using the web sites to watch the shows that we are missing. Both companies are greedy, and the viewers are getting punished for it. We will also be paying for it once it all gets settled. In the end cable bills will go up, and when the contracts are up for other service providers, they will get the same thing.
      I just wish they would get it over with.

  5. Mark Isenberg says:

    It’s easy to bash CBS and Time Warner Cable but this is truly a negotiation that if CBS wins,cable bills will increase. If Time Warner Cable wins,viewers may have to figure out another way to get their programs. David Letterman has been the beneficiary of enormous wealth from CBS for twenty years since he started there at the end of August,1993.($30 million per year to his production company Worldwide Pants,producer of his show,the Craig Ferguson sequel program and was the distributor of Everybody Loves Raymond(Romano)). Not a lot of folks pay attention to Dave anymore for many good reasons including not being funny. CBS ought to realize if the dispute goes on into NFL and College Football season next month,they stand to lose a lot more than the bad press and Dave barbs at TWC.

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