Time Warner Cable and CBS are losing perception as a result of their current dispute, although Time Warner appears to be paying the heavier price.
The fee dispute between cable distributor versus network escalated into blackouts when Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on CBS-TV and its Showtime network in eight markets. The cable company’s negative, but borderline, perception score has been descending since July, and is now firmly in negative territory.
CBS has also taken a perception dip throughout July, and since the blackout started on August 1st, they have now reached a neutral score of zero.
Showtime, however, has remained remarkably steady, achieving much higher consumer perception levels than either CBS or Time Warner Cable.
The last big public face-off between a major broadcaster and cable company was Cablevision’s showdown with Fox just before the World Series in 2010. Like Time Warner Cable, consumers already perceived Cablevision negatively when the situation broke, and perception worsened by the time the dispute ended in late October. Fox, on the other hand, saw its perception rise in the aftermath.
CBS, Time Warner Cable, Showtime, Fox and Cablevision were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" All results are for adults 18+.
From April through the beginning of July, Time Warner Cable’s Buzz score hovered between -2 and zero. From July 2nd onwards, its Buzz score descended from just below zero to its current -7 mark.
Since April, CBS has generally hovered in the 2 to 3 Buzz score range, with the exception of a temporary dip in May. However, from July 6th CBS has descended from a 4 score to a zero three weeks later.
Above it all, and seemingly unaffected, has been Showtime, which began early July with a 7 Buzz score, which is now at 6.