Saturday, October 1, 2011

CBS cares? Nah. 'The video you have requested is either unavailable or is being blocked by an ad blocker installed in your browser'

That's the message a lot of hapless visitors to are getting when they try to catch up with their favorite shows.

AKSARBENT found the best explanation of this on one of Google's support forums.
This problem is not a result of any specific browser or antivirus program. On your computer there is a file called HOSTS (on XP it is typically in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\). You can think of the HOSTS table as a list of web sites your browser is prohibited from visiting (although that is not technically what it is). Antivirus, anti-spam, anti-adware, privacy protection, and other types of software designed to protect your computer will add URLs to keep your browser from web sites that are known to be bad.

To view their video stream, CBS requires your browser to go to Doubleclick. Doubleclick provides the commercials, tracks users, and collects other information about your computer when your browser goes there. Because of what Doubleclick does and how it does it, Doubleclick is commonly put in the HOSTS table by a number of software packages as well as corporate IT departments. This affects a large number of people. Clearly CBS does not really care if you are able to view their programs or not. If they did, they would provide a safe solution.

Doubleclick will put cookies on your computer so it can track where you go and has been used as a vehicle to install malware on computers, so there is a good reason for it to be blocked. You should understand that there are risks to disabling this protection. Disabling it, however, is fairly simple:

1. Open the HOSTS table using Notepad.
2. Look for a line that says something like:
If you have a number other than, don't worry about that. Also, don't worry of there is additional stuff on the line preceded by a hash (#).
3. Put a hash at the beginning of the line, so it looks like this: #
4. Save the file.
5. Restart your browser.
6. Return to the web site and you should now be able to watch the program.

When you are done, re-edit your hosts table and take the hash out. Then delete any cookies with doubleclick in the name. You can do this in Firefox by going to Tools | Options | Privacy | Show Cookies... then looking through the list for anything with doubleclick in it. You can also search your hard drive for any files and folders with doubleclick in the name and delete them.


  1. so much for and its advertisers. I for one will not be unblocking double-click just so I can use their site.

  2. had the same problem. it was working fine and then my router went out and had to get a new one. it was the router blocking the content. had a small message on the page telling me cisco was blocking the content. put in the router password and it works fine now. hope this helped.