Does Time Warner’s iPad App Steal Cable?

Time Warner jumps the gun on streaming cable television to the table PC environment.

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Time Warner unveiled an iPad application that allows users to stream their Time Warner’s cable television subscription to a tablet device, and not surprisingly, some of the cable networks were none too pleased about having their content streamed for free.


Clearly, the revenue made from the initial subscription is not enough to cover the overhead of installing an infrastructure capable of online streaming. Wait, that’s not what this is about. Instead, it’s a case of those providing the content wanting to further monetize their shows, even if Time Warner’s app is free. According to MediaWeek, the Time Warner app allowed subscribers to:

…stream video content to iPads and other tablet devices. Although Time Warner Cable introduced the free app just 24 hours, a number of cable network groups have already made it abundantly clear that they had not signed off on any such distribution arrangement.

The report goes on to say the application has the capability of streaming up to 32 cable networks to Apple’s tablet, including channels like Comedy Central and the USA Network. Nevertheless, not all content providers are pleased with Time Warner’s actions. Perhaps if there would’ve been some collusion between the content providers and Time Warner, things would be different; but as it stands, there’s a lot of work to be done before these “TV on the go” applications become commonplace on the tablet environment.

There may have, however, been some overreaction on the content providers’ part:

…one affiliate chief acknowledged that streaming to gizmos within a limited range of hearth and home may be “less of a threat” than the networks are letting on.

But it’s never been about a measured reaction. Things like Time Warner’s app and the subsequent hubbub comes down to two things: control over content in order to monetize it. Meanwhile, the consumer is once again left out in the cold.

Does Time Warner’s iPad App Steal Cable?
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  • http://www.freemoneymakingvideos.com Fast Money Making Videos

    I think they should work out some kind of revenue sharing deal to avoid legal disputes. Online streaming is still in its infancy so finalizing these deals now will save them a lot of trouble and cost in the future.

  • Manny Mo

    Excuse but hasn’t the cable subscriber already paid for the cable service fee? Why not allow a person to stream it in their house and yard? This is much ado about nothing!

  • http://www.reversestreetads.com Mike

    You could compare this to having a wireless network in your house where you have multiple computers getting a signal for the internet. And/or having a splitter hooked up to your tv so 2 tv’s can get cable channels. Maybe networks are upset because they can’t put their advertising on the app before/after the steaming video.

  • http://www.wedgeim.com Calgary web design

    its always about sqeezing more cash out of us isnt it??

  • Tim

    The cable channels have absolutely zero say over this. Time Warner cable is the one in charge of it. And its not stealing, you can only access the cable channels through your own home account, the same thing as watching it on your TV.

  • Tim

    I could be wrong, but I remember one person saying they could only access it from their own home, not away from home.

  • Tony R

    Um … this doesn’t violate anything really. The iPad is just serving as a mobile television that is still restricted to the coverage of a wireless network. You can’t take the iPad anywhere else and sign into the service, it has to be done on your IP address at your house. The subscriber fees are already paid for since the customer has to subscribe to the television service for their tvs. Its just the broadcasters being upset they couldn’t capitalize on this first.

  • James J

    Yes, It’s true that this app allows live TV to be streamed anywhere in your home, but why does it stop there. Apparently, that’s where the legal issue begins. You subscribe your home to have service, and not your media devices. As a Dish Network subscriber/employee, I have seen much competition in this mobile app world. There is a solution though. Dish Network now uses Sling technology to stream all of your live TV channels and DVR recordings anywhere. I recently hooked my Droid up to my SUV, and began streaming everything on the go!

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