No CW for Cablevision Subscribers!

No CW for Cablevision Subscribers!

If a network goes off the air and no one notices, do the shows still go on? Apparently my cable company is in a fight with the CW, and we haven’t been receiving it since August! I only noticed because <sob> I can’t record the premier of The Vampire Diaries if they don’t come to an agreement by next week!

What caused this dispute? Money, of course. Cablevision’s statement is very clear on this:

BETHPAGE, N.Y., Aug. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Cablevision Systems Corp., (NYSE: CVC) today released the following statement related to the blackout of WPIX and other Tribune Company-owned stations on Cablevision:

“The bankrupt Tribune Company and the hedge funds and banks that own it, including Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and others are trying to solve Tribune’s financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers. Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own. They should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement.”

WPIX and a number of other Tribune-owned stations carried in portions of Cablevision’s service area have been blacked out. The other stations are: WCCT (CW), carried in a small portion of Connecticut; KWGN (CW) carried in some Optimum West markets, and WPHL (MyNetwork), which had been available in a small portion of New Jersey.

Customers will be kept informed and can visit for additional information.

PR Newswire (

Here’s the thing: it’s the CW, or for those who don’t follow tiny networks, the network that came from the old WB and UPN merging. These are the networks that brought you “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Gossip Girl”, “Supernatural”, the “90210” reboot, and “Charmed”. What do all these shows have in common, besides, being generally low-budget and low rated? They’re all niche shows. They appeal to specific markets, namely teenagers and sci-fi and fantasy viewers. In the end, the people who are losing are not from Tribune or Cablevision — it’s the fans who can’t watch a show that wouldn’t have been given the time of day on another network.

What makes me really sad is that I don’t think this is going to end anytime soon. It’s been going on for five weeks, and I only knew because a coworker (and fellow fan of cheesy teenage vampire angst), was complaining to me about it. For five weeks, I had no idea that Cablevision had replaced the CW with the NFL network. I was, however, very aware of the NFL network, because last month my Facebook feed erupted with happy friends who were thrilled to discover it was being carried by our cable.

I know the CW and Cablevision aren’t alone here — AMC and Dish have been fighting for months as well. It seems like no matter your cable provider, you pick the least of all the evils, and pray they will hopefully remain friendly with your favorite network. Still, it begs the question: how many headaches until cable just isn’t worth it anymore? Our bundle with Cablevision expired, and the bill went up by $20. Is it worth paying an extra $20 when I can’t even watch one of my favorite shows? Or are we better off with a Roku, a Hulu+ subscription, and a bit of patience? Sure, we would give up some live stations, but we wouldn’t be at the mercy of dueling parties, and we wouldn’t be paying $140 a month for the privilege!

Have you found yourself frustrated with network/cable provider disputes? Are you cutting the cord over it? Let us know in the comments!


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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

8 Comments on "No CW for Cablevision Subscribers!"

  1. Hulu+ and the Roku are absolutely essential for us … but we also maintain our cable subscription. Never had a DVR – and never will. We use Hulu+ and ‘subscribe’ to a number of shows to keep track. I think the CW shows are on Hulu at this point.
    But I agree – this absurdity and back & forth blame isn’t going to stop. Channels are owned in blocks, and they threaten cable companies to withhold channels, and so on … and our bills keep going up!

    • Yup!

      I have to say, while inertia keeps me tied to cable for now, with a potential imminent move I have far more reason to consider just not adding cable back in, and see if we notice or care.

  2. Terry Borden | October 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    I stopped using cable 9 months ago and haven’t looked back. The combination of over the air TV, Apple TV, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Macbook Pro mirroring more than cover any use I might have had for cable.

  3. Carly Z, I am in EXACTLY the same boat as you are! I am so very frustrated with and tired of Cablevision. In what other situation could a consumer purchase a product, thinking they are getting one thing, only to have the seller decide to give you something you don’t want and didn’t ask for instead? I am ready to get rid of Cable, and follow Terry Borden’s lead- Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, even watching on the network websites. At least I get to choose what I am able to watch and want what I am paying for.

  4. I am so pissed!!! I just want my f***ing vampire diaries! No one wants to see old archive footage of crappy football games!

  5. I’m from the Flower Power generation so I’m no teenager and I am not that into Sci Fi but I do watch the CW and I miss Vampire Diaries! If others like myself are part of a “niche” then why is ABC’s Once Upon a Time one of the biggest hits on a national network? Why did Charmed run for 8 years and win the distinction of being the only show to run that long (at the time it went off the air) with all female leads? Why has Supernatural been on for 12 years?? Networks don’t run shows that long because they like catering to teenagers. They run them because they are making money, which is the prime motivator for all the networks.
    If Cable doesn’t get CW back I’m going to demand a discount to make up for the loss of what amounts to about 15% of what I watch cable for. If they don’t give it to me then i’m going back to Verizon. At least, for the moment, they still offer CW.

    • Keep in mind I owned all 8 seasons of Charmed on DVD, quote “Buffy” regularly, and “Once Upon A Time” is the only show I watch in real time. So I wasn’t being dismissive when I said sci fi/fantasy is a niche-it’s just that we never get the attention or network dollars that shows like “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Glee”, or “Desperate Housewives” tend to get.
      At the same time, and I might be slightly biased here, but I think fans of niches like sci fi and fantasy tend to be far more loyal to shows as well. I don’t think the CW is 15% of my viewing, but it is a big deal to me that we don’t have it. I think Cablevision and the CW are shooting themselves in the foot, because loyal fans of Supernatural and Vampire Diaries are not going to forget this easily…and it has definitely loosened some of my “stickiness” as a cablevision customer!

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