Piracy spikes as Time Warner Cable's CBS blackout continues

Piracy rates on the popular CBS show "Under the Dome" are up 34 percent, according to a new report.

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Piracy is on the rise during the ongoing battle between Time Warner Cable and CBS.

Piracy rates on popular CBS shows are up substantially, according to TorrentFreak, which sampled BitTorrent activity on piracy sites over the last two weeks. The network's popular title, "Under the Dome," saw piracy rates jump by 34 percent, according to TorrentFreak.

CBS is the parent company of CNET.

After a bitter battle over broadcasting terms, Time Warner Cable last Friday dropped CBS from its channel lineup. In response, CBS blocked streaming of full episodes on its Web site for TWC broadband customers, even if that customer only subscribes to Time Warner for broadband and not its cable service. That left TWC's customers without access to some of their favorite shows, which might have driven at least some of them to torrent sites to watch programming.

TorrentFreak analyzed "Under the Dome" piracy across the U.S. and found that 10.9 percent of the downloads came from within the blackout region before CBS and Time Warner Cable couldn't come to terms. After the talks broke down and CBS was dropped, the share of downloads originating from the blackout zone increased to 14.6 percent.

CBS and Time Warner Cable are reportedly still in talks, but coming to an agreement has proven extremely difficult. Earlier this week, Time Warner Cable offered CBS an "a la carte" option that CBS chief Leslie Moonves called "an empty gesture."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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