Today various 3rd parties, including the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and NYS Senator Maziarz issued statements regarding issue surrounding Time Warner Cable and CBS. Senator Maziarz who is Chairman of the State Senate’s Energy & Telecommunications Committee released the following statement:
“Recently, a commercial dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable (TWC) subjected TWC customers in the downstate region to blackouts of CBS television programming. Now, in order to gain an advantage in negotiations between the two companies, CBS is holding ALL TWC customers across New York hostage.
It has come to my attention that CBS is blocking TWC Internet Customers both downstate and upstate, including my district, from accessing full shows on CBS.com, even if they can still watch CBS programming through their local affiliate. CBS is also blocking that contact for residents who are TWC Internet customers only, who use a different provider for television such as satellite TV.
Attempting to use Internet access as leverage in the negotiations, unfairly places residents throughout this state at a disadvantage, when they have nothing to do with the negotiations. These actions are contrary to the public interest and fair broadband policies.
I am hopeful that CBS will rethink their latest ploy that unjustly targets consumers in Western New York and across this state.”
DIRECTV released the following statement in support of Time Warner Cable:
“Just like the characters in CBS’ Under The Dome, all pay TV customers are feeling trapped and helpless as broadcasters expect them to absorb ridiculous rate increases for the exact same programming. In trying to protect our own customers, DIRECTV has certainly had its share of these battles, so we applaud Time Warner Cable for fighting back against exorbitant programming cost increases. We are also appalled to learn that CBS is now punishing DIRECTV customers, who may happen to have Time Warner as their Internet provider, by denying them access to CBS content online.
The conduct of content companies in their efforts to extract outrageous fees from distributors and consumers may have reached a new low.”
American Television Alliance (ATVA) statement:
“Following CBS-Time Warner Cable blackouts, subscribers of four different pay-TV providers in 52 markets have lost 75 separate TV stations. As a result, the number of television markets now subjected to blackouts is higher than ever before.
As long as we all continue to watch television using rules that were written way back in 1992, consumers will continue to be subjected to blackouts and higher fees. And broadcasters will continue to game the system, using retrans fees to purchase more stations and pay for expensive network programming.
Now more than ever, viewers deserve video rules written in this century.”