Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Viewers To Time Warner And CBS: Stop Screwing Us Over

The two have until Friday to work things out. Until then, customers have been venting their frustrations with the two firms via social media.

CBS and Time Warner have returned to the negotiating table over carriage fees. After talks soured Monday night, the pay-TV operator began blacking out CBS programming in some markets early Tuesday morning before restoring it at the network's request.

CBS is demanding a 600% increase in fees in eight cities where the network owns the TV stations, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Time Warner has responded by calling the increase "outrageous" and "out of line." "It's unreasonable to expect our customers to pay a 600% premium in a handful of cities," Time Warner said on its website eliciting comment from viewers on the matter.

Time Warner pays CBS less than $1 per subscriber, but the network, which is the country's most watched, says that's less than what channels with lower ratings receive. CBS, which owns Showtime, TMC, and Flix among other channels, is also home to the NFL and Emmy Awards broadcasts. "We feel we should be paid for our programming," said CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.

Subscribers aren't sitting back idly, instead venting their frustrations on Time Warner Cable's Facebook page. On one unrelated Facebook post about the movie Pawn Shop Chronicles, this exchange happened (click to enlarge):

One responder was sympathetic to the pay TV operator (as well as his wallet): "Don't cave to the pressure. CBS is free on the airwaves. I DO NOT want my cable bill rising any more just to save CBS and Showtime."

Meanwhile on Twitter, one user replied somewhat poignantly to a tweet from @CBSNews asking subscribers to complain to Time Warner:

We'd hate to be the person in charge of managing TWC's Facebook page, as it is littered with damning comments from fed-up customers, all imploring subscribers to inspect their bills or abandon ship.

[Image: Flickr user Jason Rogers]

Add New Comment


  • Cameron

    Hulu and Netflix combined cost about $15 a month - less than half of cable. I can't wait until blind cable/tv companies price themselves right out of the market. Good article Alice.

  • Thedailyboss

    Ala Carte applies to more than cable companies. Who needs a network to see a show when there's Hulu, Amazon, etc.?

  • Knight Moonsuga

    I voted with my wallet over two years ago, when I canceled my cable subscription. I kept my internet, which is all I need to get any TV show I would want, no commercials. If they don't want to offer A La Cart, or fair pricing, its the pirates life for me. YARRRRRRR

  • Knight Moonsuga

    oh.. and now when I go to people's places I laugh when commercials come on. don't be a sucker!

  • Prguydc

    I canceled my cable TV years ago. Never missed it. Now I subscribe to Netflix, spend like $12 a month for multiple movies as I do it the new old fashioned way, dvds in the mail. I have no interest in watching movies on my computer...which wouldn't work anyway as I canceled my internet service years ago as well (and never missed it either).

  • Rudy Hassen

    I am SO CLOSE to canceling my cable TV. I'm sure many others are as well. Go on TWC...Give me a reason!

  • Andrew Lee

    A la carte cable service would solve this. People who don't want to pay, don't. People who don't want to deal with CBS blackouts, wont have them. Simple.

  • mestenz

    I like the a la carte idea, but cable providers will never go for that.  They want to force feed us the shopping networks and lower-rated networks bundled together so they can consolidate subscribers and gain negotiating leverage.

    We left TWC for U-Verse 4 years ago for this and several other reasons-- most notably the lost reception and awful service.  In those 4 years I think TWC has had 6 negotiations stalemates while U-verse had one with Scripps, which was resolved the day of the blackout.  Best decision we've made in some time.