Report: TWCable iPad app upsets TV networks

Cable networks have requested that their content be removed from Time Warner Cable's iPad app, a source tells BusinessInsider.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Will network content stay on the TWCable TV iPad app?
Will network content stay on the TWCable TV iPad app? Time Warner Cable

Television networks are sending cease-and-desist letters to Time Warner Cable over the company's new iPad app, a report claims.

Citing an anonymous industry source, BusinessInsider reported yesterday that networks are taking issue with Time Warner Cable's TWCable TV iPad app's ability to let users stream programming to the Apple tablet, and they're requesting their content be removed from the program. The source told Business Insider that the networks believe content streaming to an iPad app is entirely separate from offering programming through Time Warner Cable's set-top boxes.

Time Warner Cable declined to comment to CNET.

The company's free iPad app, which launched last week, lets users watch programming from 32 networks, including A&E, Bravo, and Discovery, on the tablet. To do so, however, users must be at home and accessing their own Wi-Fi network. The app's programming is not accessible over 3G.

Upon its launch, the TWCable TV iPad app faced "overwhelming demand," Time Warner Cable said last week. That success prompted the company to drop 17 channels for a short while to get everything back to normal. It quickly added those channels back after it brought demand under control.

It's worth noting that Time Warner is not the only programming provider that lets users access content from the iPad. Comcast offers the free Xfinity TV iPad app, which lets users control their television and watch movies and TV shows from their tablet. However, as a Comcast spokesman pointed out to CNET today, that company's offering is slightly different. It offers users the ability to watch 3,000 hours of content, but none of it is live, like the programming on Time Warner Cable's option. Moreover, Comcast's service can be accessed anywhere Wi-Fi is available.

Most importantly, the Comcast spokesman said that its Xfinity TV app was launched with full support from the company's content partners.

Dish also lets users watch live programming on the iPad, but unlike with its competitors, it requires the use of the Sling Adapter, which costs $99.

Dish did not immediately respond to request for comment on whether it has received cease-and-desist letters from networks.

Updated at 1:14 p.m. PTto include information from Comcast.