A contract dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable has prevented millions of customers not only from viewing CBS channels on their television set, but also through the network's official applications for iPad and iPhone.
The dispute caused Time Warner to block CBS and Showtime networks over the weekend. CBS responded in kind, and blocked Time Warner Cable Internet subscribers from streaming its programming from its website.
But that IP ban also extends to the official iOS applications from CBS. Even though CBS is available free over the air, Time Warner customers who attempt to stream shows through the CBS application for iOS are presented with a video urging them to call their cable provider and side with the network.
"Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS," a 45-second video airing in place of content proclaims. "That means no 'Under the Dome,' no 'Big Brother,' no 'NCIS,' no NFL, or PGA Championship, or US Open Tennis. No 'Big Bang Theory,' no '60 Minutes.' Say no to Time Warner Cable."
The outage also extends to Showtime, which includes the original series "Dexter," "Ray Donovan," and "Homeland." And it includes Bright House Networks, a major regional cable operator that partners with Time Warner.
The current blackout is said to affect about 3 million Time Warner Cable customers in major markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas. Among the events blocked was Tiger Woods' commanding victory at the Bridgestone Invitational.
In addition, the start of National Football League preseason football is this week, and CBS owns the broadcast rights to the league's American Football Conference teams, such as the New England Patriots and New York Jets.