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Time Warner, Viacom battle over cable TV on iPad

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Time Warner Cable and Viacom are suing each other over the rights to display cable TV programming on subscribers' iPads.

Time Warner began serving cable TV channels directly to its subscribers' iPads via a new app two weeks ago, but pulled a variety of channels after broadcasters, including Viacom, News Corp., and Discovery Communications, complained.

The cable giant is now asking the court to rule that it is not infringing any Viacom copyrights in serving content to its subscribers who have already paid for the TV programming.

Viacom has filed its own suit, claiming damages and seeking to to block the cable provider from distributing its content on new devices, ranging from tablets like the iPad to Smart TV apps and other "comparable applications and services," unless it negotiates additional payments.

"Viacom has made clear that it is willing to discuss extension of similar rights to others -- including TWC," the corporation stated in its suit. "What Viacom cannot do, however, is permit one of its contracting partners, TWC, to unilaterally change the terms of its contractual relationship."

Time Warner maintains that the networks are simply imposing new "artificial limits" on the screens its subscribers use. On its blog, the cable provider complained that Fox, Discovery, and Viacom, "instead of rowing down the river of history and into the future," "have chosen to sit on the bank and kick rocks."

After pulling programming from the complaining networks from its iPad app, the carrier added new channels, including A&E, ABC Family, AMC, CNBC, CNN, Disney, ESPNnews, MSNBC, SyFy, and USA, and has since added additional new content including Bloomberg, Current and TruTV.

In the last two weeks, Time Warner's free new iPad app has reportedly seen over 300,000 downloads. The app works in subscribers' homes and requires WiFi, although some users report problems getting it to work with business Internet accounts or in some locations, including Hawaii.

post #2 of 20
first.

too bad I have nothing to say
post #3 of 20
Well, I do have something to say.

The level of pure unadulterated greed here justifies my decision to ditch paying for programming and torrent everything with the commercials removed.
post #4 of 20
Never thought I would reach a point in my life when I would be rooting for the cable companies.
post #5 of 20
And so it begins....a race to the bottom for the media companies. Good! Cable companies charge too much just like the music industry taking $18 for a lame CD not too long ago!

Good for the iPad, good for Apple and special thanks to Stevo!
post #6 of 20
I pay an inflated amount for my TWC, and the ipad app was great, but now instead of Fox i get CSPAN3 as a replacement, yes that's fair. I already pay for those channels in my house, you can't use the app outside of your house wtf is the problem here, if I buy another tv I can watch those channels....

I hope a judge with half a brain sees how this is just fleecing customers for more money for the same product.
post #7 of 20
Time Warner, bring back Fox News! I can't stand these liberals on my iPad at the moment.
post #8 of 20
Does anyone else see the irony of a "cable" company complaining about over the air downloads?

wouldnt this technically no longer make them a "cable" company??

In other news....... heres a kitten hanging off a branch.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

Never thought I would reach a point in my life when I would be rooting for the cable companies.

Well you are rooting for them against Viacom probably the most backward thinking content provider out there.
post #10 of 20
Maybe it's time for regulatory bodies to step in and examine the court documents for evidence of cartel and price fixing behaviour.

That'd throw the cat among the pigeons.
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post #11 of 20
People need to understand one thing: Time Warner is a big, big player in the media world, and they know as well as anyone else what they can and can't do.

That said, I'd love to meet the genius behind this campaign. Don't think for a second that TW is just trying to offer more service, and that everyone else is being petty.

TW knew very well the exact controversies that would erupt, and I'd go so far as to say some of this may have been carefully negotiated ahead of time.

Bottom line, for the price of an iPad app, TW has become the hero that's just trying to offer it's customers better value, while everyone else appears petty and greedy.

Well played, Time Warner. Well played indeed.
post #12 of 20
This is one of those things that really get to me. You're paying for the right to watch the programme, listen to the music, etc.

In the UK, a new Blu-ray film might cost £12. Get in double play (Blu-ray and DVD) for the exact same film, £15. Buy the triple play (Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes copy), £20. It's just moronic.
post #13 of 20
I'd say everyone enjoy this while you can for free. Looks like some programmers (who aren't currently suing) were caught in a big a-HA! with the wording of their Time-Warner distribution agreements.

They'll be more careful when the next renewal negotiations come back around... and you can expect the price increase to be passed on to you.
post #14 of 20
None of this makes sense. ESPN just released an app that allows you to watch content LIVE using Time Warner cable and a number of other internet service providers.
post #15 of 20
Did I read that right? If I buy a TV that has a built in app for watching TV channels that is plugged into the cable to my house at the address for which I have paid for service and use an app built into the TV to choose what channel to watch instead of using the "cable box" to do the channel switching then the content providers want me to pay again to subscribe to the same content at the same location on the same device just selected and switched by a different interface?
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

None of this makes sense. ESPN just released an app that allows you to watch content LIVE using Time Warner cable and a number of other internet service providers.

not only that; but the ESPN app allows you to view ESPN content ANYWHERE! Not just in your home. If you are paying for it, why should your location matter?

Actually I hope TW loses this; If so, it means cable cos DO NOT carry rights to YOU, just to your home cable. Opens the door for alla-carte from each content owner. I like that better

ken
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Time Warner, bring back Fox News! I can't stand these liberals on my iPad at the moment.

I'm glad they got rid of Faux News. I hate when news companies try to make up their own facts. I agree with some conservative positions but it's hard for me to even support any Republican that allies themselves with Faux News.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliles View Post

not only that; but the ESPN app allows you to view ESPN content ANYWHERE! Not just in your home. If you are paying for it, why should your location matter?

Actually I hope TW loses this; If so, it means cable cos DO NOT carry rights to YOU, just to your home cable. Opens the door for alla-carte from each content owner. I like that better

ken

I agree to some extent but if I wanted ala carte I would just download from Itunes. For advertisers, and for Viacom ala carte is not necessarily good. I'm actually shocked Viacom is doing this. It's not in their own best interest long term. If I were an advertiser I'd be trying to strong arm Viacom into submission.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

I'm actually shocked Viacom is doing this. It's not in their own best interest long term.

I"m not shocked. From what has gone out, Time Warner didn't ask permission to do this and it's not specifically allowed in the contracts. The networks have to say no and fight this because they can't have TW thinking it can do anything it wants. Say deciding that you can take that ipad anywhere,

Quote:

If I were an advertiser I'd be trying to strong arm Viacom into submission.

More like the other way around. Advertisers pay by views from the Nielsen sample group and they want accurate numbers just as much as the networks do (well accurate for that piss poor system). so they don't want this whole ipad thing because even given the chances that someone in the ratings group is using TW and has an ipad, it's just not worth the risk. one sample viewer is like 200k reported viewers in the ratings.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Did I read that right? If I buy a TV that has a built in app for watching TV channels that is plugged into the cable to my house at the address for which I have paid for service and use an app built into the TV to choose what channel to watch instead of using the "cable box" to do the channel switching then the content providers want me to pay again to subscribe to the same content at the same location on the same device just selected and switched by a different interface?

Yep, you read that correctly.

In other news Viacom, Fox, and other networks are going to sue the cable companies for allowing their programming to be viewed on those new fangled LCD televisions. They believe that they deserve more money for allowing their content to be viewed on anything other than a black and white CRT television.

What a bunch of morons.
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