Oceanic credit for lost programming

Hawaii customers of Oceanic Time Warner Cable, who lost premium channels including Showtime and The Movie Channel for a month due to a dispute between the cable company and CBS, will be receiving a credit, the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Cable Television Division announced Thursday.

Federal Communications Commission acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn announced an agreement between CBS Corp. and Time Warner Cable on Sept. 2, resolving a dispute between the companies.

The dispute did not result in a suspension of CBS programming for Hawaii subscribers, but it did cause a suspension of premium services by Oceanic for about a month for The Movie Channel, Showtime, Flix Digital and Smithsonian HD.

Two of the premium programming services, TMC and Showtime, are offered to Oceanic subscribers in their own programming packages. Flix Digital and Smithsonian HD are provided to subscribers within other premium programming packages, the news release from the cable TV division said.

“Given that Oceanic bills its subscribers in advance for cable services, the suspension of programming by Oceanic meant that many Oceanic subscribers in Hawaii were billed for TMC and Showtime programming services for the month of August that they did not receive,” the cable TV division said in a news release.

As a result, the cable TV division opened an inquiry into the programming suspension. Oceanic reports that it will be crediting back amounts paid according to the amount of the monthly charge for TMC and/or Showtime and the number of days affected by the outage of those channels, the cable TV division said.

If the subscriber had one movie channel, the credit would be up to approximately $15.95. If the subscriber had two movie channels, the credit would be as much as about $25.90.

Oceanic subscribers who subscribe to TMC and/or Showtime should see a bill credit in their next bill. Oceanic subscribers affected by the suspension of service can make billing inquiries by calling 643-2100 statewide.

The cable TV division regulates franchised wireline cable operators within the state.