2013-08-07 / Political Page

Vallone Calls For Rebates From Time Warner Cable

Councilember Peter F. Vallone Jr. has called for the establishment of a rebate program whenever a television station with a substantial viewership is dropped by a cable or satellite provider.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) recently ceased carrying CBS2—one of the most watched networks in the city—due to a payment dispute between the two companies. While TWC is providing refunds to customers who subscribe to Showtime and The Movie Channel (premium channels owned by CBS) customers will not be receiving money back for losing CBS2 because it is a part of the basic programming package.

The City Council plans to hold oversight hearings on the dispute later this week, and Vallone believes the creation of a rebate program for customers should be discussed.

“Whenever a cable or satellite provider drops a channel, their costs drop and their product shrinks – so why shouldn’t the cost to customers decrease,” said Vallone. “Dropping CBS is not like going from 100 sports channels to 99. Under TWC’s logic, they could remove half of the most-watched channels and still charge the same amount every month.”

Also, CBS has blocked TWC subscribers from accessing CBS.com—a Web site that used to be free to all—which is unacceptable to Vallone.

“Stopping a service that had been free during a contract dispute smacks of holding the public hostage,” said Vallone.

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