As Time Warner Cable and CBS remain in a standoff over broadcast fees, DirecTV has entered the ring with some words of support and a fairly specific topical reference. In a statement, the company said it was "appalled" that CBS had begun blocking full online episodes of its TV shows for "DirecTV customers, who may happen to have Time Warner as their internet provider." CBS made the move after Time Warner Cable instituted a blackout on CBS channels last week. Rubbing salt in the wounds of Time Warner Cable subscribers, DirecTV then compared the situation to the premise of a popular CBS series.
"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," it said. "We applaud Time Warner Cable for fighting back against exorbitant programming cost increases." Time Warner Cable and CBS have so far been unable to come to terms over the retransmission fees for Showtime, CBS, and other channels; Time Warner has complained it's being asked to pay an "outrageous increase," and it's also reportedly attempting to limit how CBS can sell its programming to Netflix and other outlets.
After a number of blown deadlines, the two companies have still been unable to agree on terms, and there's no telling when a new deal might be reached. DirecTV, like other operators, stands to benefit from lower retransmission rates, and the specter of upstart streaming TV service Aereo (which doesn't pay at all) is likely in the back of everyone's minds as well. Meanwhile, would-be CBS viewers can at least rest easy in the knowledge that they don't need to simply watch its current hit series — after all, they too will soon be fighting for dwindling resources as mere anarchy and higher broadcast fees are loosed upon the world.