We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with CBS that will return their blacked out channels to our lineup immediately (including Showtime, TMC, Flix, Smithsonian, and the CBS broadcast stations in NY, LA, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, and Pittsburgh).
As in all of our negotiations, our main goal was to hold down costs and retain our ability to deliver a great video experience for our customers. We’re pleased that we successfully achieved both.
We hate that these fights have to happen—and that our customers get caught in the middle—but they do allow us to negotiate deals that provide better outcomes for our customers.
Q: When will the channels be returned?
A: By Sunday evening, September 2, 2013
Q: When will CBS Primetime on Demand be restored? We’re already in the process of restoring our Primetime on Demand library from CBS; we expect the full library to be restored within 24 hours.
Q: When will Showtime on Demand be restored? Will I be able to see the episodes of Dexter, Ray Donovan and other shows that I missed? The Showtime on demand library should be restored within 24 hours, including the most recent episodes of new programs that aired during the blackout.
Q: Did TWC end up paying 600% more for these stations than other markets?
We won’t discuss specific deal terms. But no, we reached a deal that is significantly better than the one first proposed by CBS.
Q: What about my credit for Showtime & TMC?
You will see the final credit for your Showtime blackout on your next bill. (If your bill was already in the process of being printed when we reached this agreement, you may see your final credit on your 2nd bill, but it will be applied to your account.)
Q: Will I be getting a credit for the blackout of CBS?
We already provided a preview of premium programming from Starz Kids & Family, , and a free movie on demand or an Amazon gift card, and free antennas to those that chose to take them. We also provided Tennis Channel to all digital customers during the US Open. All of that has a significant retail value and we won’t be providing any additional compensation.
Remember that CBS is carried as part of a programming package, and we typically do not adjust what customers pay for changes to the lineup—whether channels are added or removed.
Q: Will I still be able to see the Tennis Channel free preview?
Yes, in most markets that will remain unchanged—enjoy the Tennis Channel free preview through September 9, 2013 on its digital channel position—check your guide for details
Q: Do I need to return the antenna I just picked up from TWC?
No, that is yours to keep.
Q: Why can’t customers just pay for the channels they want?
We are working hard with programmers to try and create more flexibility in the packages we offer, but right now that’s not possible due to restrictions imposed on us by programmers.
Q: Why does it seem like TWC is the only one having these problems?
We’re not the only ones – every distributor is having these problems. In fact, while our customers endured this blackout, several other blackouts happened simultaneously with other providers. The truth is literally every other distributor, whether cable, satellite, or telco, has acknowledged the problems created by programmers’ rising costs and there were well-publicized disputes this year and last involving cable/satellite/telco distributors and both national cable networks and local broadcast stations.
If customers have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to fill out the comment form below