CBS claims TW Cable denied a request to continue negotiations last Friday to renew a retransmission agreement between the two companies while CBS programming was still on the air.
Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS in markets including Los Angeles, New York and Dallas when no deal was reached.
“They rejected this request and told us that they’d have more leverage against us if they took us off their service,” CBS’ statement read. “This is hardly a sign that they care about their customers as they claim. We remain ready to negotiate in good faith when they are.”
Friday’s move by TWC appears to be the first extended blackout in years, and comes after weeks of mudslinging between the cable operator and CBS. CBS wants higher retransmission fees, while TWC has pushed back against hikes in programming costs. “We regret the inconvenience to our customers (and their viewers) and look forward to resolving the situation as soon as possible,” a Time Warner Cable spokesperson said in response to CBS’ comments.
TW Cable also commented Friday on the idea that they would not permit an extension of retransmission talks.
“We’re willing to do a long-term extension with retroactive terms, in fact we offered them a one-year extension. But CBS is trying to delay this negotiation right up to NFL season, which is not fair to our customers. We’ve accepted numerous extensions at this point, but it’s become clear that no matter how much time we give them, they’re not willing to come to reasonable terms,” the statement read.