Time Warner adds channels back to its controversial TWCable TV iPad app


TWCable iPad app

Time Warner recently added several channels back to their TW Cable TV iPad app. The application has been under heavy scrutiny as several cable network providers have stated Time Warner is violating their terms of use by including the streaming live programs in the iPad app. In fact, just last week the fight between Time Warner and Viacom took a legal turn as the two companies filed complaints against each other. Interestingly, it was Viacom owned networks that Time Warner reinstated to their TW Cable TV iPad app. By April 18, 2011, the TWCable iPad app had included Discovery and Fox channels.

Time Warner has stated from the onset that they believe they are well within their rights to broadcast the programming. Though Time Warner had received several cease and desist letters by angry cable networks, TW was never court ordered not to include the programming in their lineup of live streaming cable channels. Time Warner voluntarily removed the programming; at this point, it is unclear what caused Time Warner to add the Viacom networks back into their lineup.

The time Warner cable app is free of charge and has quickly become an extremely popular app. As the app only works for those who are a Time Warner Cable video subscriber, TW maintains that they are legally extending their cable services to their customers in a legal and justified manner. Viacom disagrees. After time Warner filed a request for a declaratory judgment for the rights to stream the programming to their iPad app, Viacom released a statement. It reads as follows, “Viacom has always negotiated rights to distribute our content based on specific technologies and devices to ensure that the unique business issues, such as security, product quality and audience measurement, are properly addressed.

“Instead of addressing these issues, Time Warner Cable simply launched the product without a license to distribute our programming through an iPad app. They blatantly grabbed the rights that their competitors have negotiated in good faith to obtain. Time Warner Cable removed our programming from this service only when they were threatened with a lawsuit and, now, it is asking the Court to declare their brazen acts lawful.

“ Regrettably, all of this has compelled us to file a suit of our own – as Time Warner Cable refuses to even discuss the business issues. With $5.2 billion in cash from operations last year, Time Warner Cable can certainly afford to provide our programming through this new broadband service without passing along any additional costs to its customers.”


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