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DirecTV Backs Time Warner in Spat With CBS

Time Warner Cable Inc. gained an ally in its battle with CBS Corp. on Saturday, when satellite TV firm DirecTV said it applauded the cable operator "for fighting back against exorbitant programming cost increases."

CBS's flagship broadcast network was dropped from Time Warner Cable Inc.'s TV service in New York, Los Angeles and other major markets Friday afternoon, after weeks of negotiations between the companies failed to reach a deal on fees. A person familiar with the situation said Saturday there were no talks under way between the companies.

Time Warner Cable said CBS had "shown utter lack of record for consumers" by blocking access for its broadband subscribers to CBS's website. DirecTV, in its statement, noted the online blackout and said "the conduct of content companies in their efforts to extract outrageous fees from distributors and consumers may have reached a new low."

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