Think politics are nasty? Pity the fool who gets caught in the crossfire between CableOne and Turner Broadcasting System. Calling the disappearance of Turner's CNN, CNN Headline News, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, TruTV and Turner Classic Movies from CableOne's lineup "deeply disturbing," Washington, D.C.-based American Cable Association said Turner's move to yank its programming was a "vindictive spasm of power."
Turner countered by saying it was "simply asking that CableOne pay the established and accepted rates'' and was "willing to discuss a new agreement."
But CableOne is having none of it. The 10th largest cable provider--which serves more than 700,000 customers in 19 states, including Idaho--insists that "Turner has chosen to punish our customers" by asking for a 50 percent jump in fees.
The Turner blackout hits almost every demographic: TBS has exclusive rights to what has thus far been a thrilling first round in the Major League Baseball playoffs; CNN has dialed up its coverage of the U.S. government shutdown; Turner Classic Movies has launched a monthlong lineup of horror films; and everyone's favorite modern stone age family, The Flintstones, is still providing plenty of laughs over on Boomerang.
The ACA claims Turner is the one stuck in the stone age, saying, "Turner's objective is to perpetuate the broken basic dinosaur" of bundling its networks, "resulting in cable operators paying for channels they don't want to offer to their customers."
Meanwhile, CableOne has promised credits to customers and has begun replacing missing programming with the Hallmark and Science channels and the Game Show Network.