Did CBS Blackout on Time Warner Cable Boost Piracy of ‘Under the Dome’?

Piracy rates for latest ep of the Eye's summertime hit increased in New York, L.A. and Dallas, according to report

Time Warner Cable customers frustrated with the ongoing CBS blackout — and the Eye’s blockade of the operator’s broadband users from watching full episodes at CBS.com — may have turned to piracy in greater numbers to watch latest episode of Stephen King’s “Under the Dome.”

About 14.6% of illegal copies of this Monday’s “Under the Dome” were downloaded in New York, L.A. and Dallas, up from 10.9% for last week’s episode, according to the blog site TorrentFreak. In Gotham, the rate of illegal downloads of “Under the Dome” more than doubled (from 1.3% of all U.S. downloads last week to 3% for Monday’s ep).

SEE ALSO: Comcast Developing Anti-Piracy Alternative to ‘Six Strikes’

The data is not conclusive, TorrentFreak acknowledged, noting that it is unable to track which pirates are Time Warner Cable broadband customers and that additional research would be need to determine the long-term effect of CBS-TW Cable blackout on piracy.

At around 5 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 2, Time Warner Cable removed CBS stations in Gotham, L.A., Dallas-Ft. Worth and a few other smaller markets, after the companies could not agree on retransmission terms despite weeks of negotiations and deadline extensions. The operator also removed Showtime and other CBS-owned cablers. Since then the companies have waged a PR battle, each accusing the other side of not negotiation in good faith.

Meanwhile, TV ratings for “Under the Dome” may have taken a hit from the blackout, with noticeable audience drops in L.A. and Dallas for the Aug. 5 airing. Monday’s episode averaged a 2.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall — down about 10% from last week and the show’s lowest same-night result to date. At the same time, the ratings decline may have largely been attributable to competish from season finale of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

Previously, CBS said it expected the Time Warner Cable blackout would have a 1% impact on national ratings.

CBS has a licensing pact for “Under the Dome” with Amazon.com, under which episodes are available four days after telecast on the Internet retailer’s Prime Instant Video service. But evidently, four days is too long to wait for some.

SEE ALSO: Time Warner’s Bewkes: Piracy of HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ Is ‘Better Than an Emmy’

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • The Mentalist

    #NotWorthLess: 'I Was Great and Deserve to Be Paid the Same'

    Women writers, producers and assistants across Twitter turned the hashtag #NotWorthLess into a trend Wednesday, shining a light on issues of pay inequality in the entertainment business. Sparked by screenwriter Adele Lim’s recent decision to walk away from the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in protest of being paid less than her male co-writer, dozens of [...]

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Reality Boss Talks Ratings Success, Diversity Backlash

    Last night, Peter Weber was unveiled, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the next Bachelor during the season finale of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Weber’s selection coincided with a season-high rating for “Paradise,” and caps a solid ratings summer for the “Bachelor” franchise. As ratings have been in decline across the board this summer, “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in [...]

  • Raising Dion

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases 'Raising Dion' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix releases “Raising Dion’s” trailer and announces a number of premiere dates for its original series. DATES Netflix announced the premiere dates for several of its new and returning original series: Season 2 of “Carmen Sandiego” will launch Oct. 1; Deon Cole’s standup special “Deon Cole: Cole Hearted” will launch [...]

  • Jim Parrack

    '9-1-1: Lone Star' Adds 'True Blood' Alum Jim Parrack

    Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star” continues to round out its main cast. Jim Parrack has joined the upcoming drama in a series regular role. He joins previously announced series leads Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler. In the series, Lowe stars as Capt. Owen Strand, a sophisticated New York fireman who, along with his adult son, re-locates [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content