DirecTV and Time Warner Cable compete with each other most of the time. But with a shared interest in holding back programming price increases, the No. 1 satellite company decided to lend moral support to its business rival which on Friday stopped offering programming from CBS-owned stations and cable channels including Showtime due to a dispute over retransmission rates. “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.,” DirecTV says. Noting that the company has had “its share of these battles” –including a 10-day blackout of Viacom’s channels last year — DirecTV says it applauds TWC. The satellite company also attacked CBS’ decision to bar TWC’s Internet customers from watching full episodes of programs on CBS.com. “The conduct of content companies in their efforts to extract outrageous fees from distributors and consumers may have reached a new low,” DirecTV says. CBS says that it wants a price that reflects its status as the No. 1 network, noting that TWC pays much more for cable channels including ESPN that attract far fewer viewers.
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