Dollars & Sense

Dispute cuts off Showtime for some KC-area Time Warner Cable customers

Updated: 2013-08-04T02:01:36Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

Time Warner Cable customers in the Kansas City area have lost access to Showtime but not the local CBS affiliate, KCTV5, because of a national dispute between the cable company and the network.

CBS Corp. and Time Warner Cable have been unable to settle on terms of a distribution deal. Time Warner Cable cut off broadcasts in several markets after an extension previously agreed to expired this week.

The cutoff includes local CBS stations owned by the network but does not cover Kansas City, where Meredith Corp. owns the station. CBS Corp. also owns Showtime Networks Inc., which broadcasts Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix.

Michael Hogan, a Time Warner spokesman, said the negotiations affect not only the programs that customers see but also the price of cable service.

“We thank our customers for their patience and support as we continue to fight hard to keep their prices down,” Hogan said in an email.

Hogan said customers who pay for Showtime would receive credit for any blackout time. Time Warner also plans to provide alternative programming from Starz or Encore. Some Showtime programs are available online at www.sho.com for subscribers.

CBS said more than 3 million Time Warner Cable subscribers will be without shows such as “60 Minutes” and “Under the Dome” and their local CBS news in markets where it owns the local station. It was the first time CBS has been dropped by a cable system.

The blackout is the first of a top broadcaster by a major pay-TV carrier in New York since Cablevision shut down Fox for two weeks in 2010.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report. To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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