Time Warner pulls several channels from TWCable TV iPad app

“Time Warner Cable on Thursday abruptly removed several channels from its app that replicates the TV viewing experience on an iPad,” Brian Stelter reports for The New York Times.

“The cable company withdrew the channels, including MTV and FX, after receiving complaints from three major media companies, Viacom, Discovery Communications and the News Corporation,” Stelter reports. “The companies have claimed that the iPad app is a contract violation — in part because they want cable companies like Time Warner Cable to pay them more for the privilege to stream their channels to portable devices.”

Stelter reports, “Time Warner Cable reaffirmed on Thursday that it believed it had ‘every right to carry the programming on our iPad app.’ It said in a statement: ‘But, for the time being, we have decided to focus our iPad efforts on those enlightened programmers who understand the benefit and importance of allowing our subscribers — and their viewers — to watch their programming on any screen in their homes. In the meantime, we will pursue all of our legal rights against the programmers who don’t share our vision.'”

Read more in the full article here.

So, if you have a long enough coax cable, you can drag battery-powered (or even regular corded) TVs around your house and accomplish the exact same thing (but, of course, you’ll have all of the channels for which you’re *ahem* already paying). That’s legal. But, using your iPad as a wireless TV to watch a handful of channels (for which, again, you’re already paying) in your own house is illegal? Some of these media companies are batshit insane. Why they seem to hate their customers is beyond us.

More info here: http://iwantmytwcabletvapp.com/

33 Comments

    1. Yes, the only benefit to the TW app over is that HD is HD. The Slingbox app on your iPad or iPhone streams SD from HD. Further the Slingbox will cost from $130 and up, and the app is another $29. Not to mention, you need a fast upstream of at least 1Mbps if you want reasonable streaming while outside your LAN.

  1. The video media companies are just like the music labels were 10 years ago. The more they try to contain consumers in their little fiefdom of paid cable TV, the more that normally law-abiding citizens are going to say FU and turn to P2P methods to download content illegally.

    These dumbshits better get on board the Steve Jobs train like the music labels did before their revenue model turns to crap.

  2. TWC is in the wrong here, and MDN has missed the point:

    This has nothing to do with the “legality” of how you watch your shows at home. This is TWC (the cable company) distributing content to their customers in ways that are not specified in their carriage agreements with the content providers.

    In short, if the carriage agreement that TWC doesn’t specifically include distribution via their iPad application, then TWC is stealing content by doing so.

      1. How is he wrong?

        “Such apps have raised hackles from programmers, who claim the cable companies haven’t acquired the rights to distribute their content on the iPad.”

        From the other article.
        YOU don’t pay for the ability to watch the programming on any device you want. You do however pay to have it on your tv.
        All the programmers, I bet can point out in their contracts with the cable companies where the contract specifically says “television set”
        Ever wonder why hulu let’s you watch one show on your computer, but refuses to let you see it on your iPad? Same issue. The licensing of content.
        What if MTV was planning on making a live tv app for their “shows” and charge $.99 a week…. Why bother, you can watch it for free with twc’s app.
        That’s why the cease and desist letters went out. They have licensed the content to televisions, it may be old contracts… But they do have a valid point.

        Just cause you pay to have the shows on your tv, doesn’t mean that you have every right to watch them on your computer, iPad, iPhone etc. It all depends on the contracts and licensing.
        Just cause you bought angry birds for the iPhone, doesn’t mean you are entitled to the Mac version, and the iPad version, even though they are the very same game. Just different resolutions.

        Not 100% behind the programmers here, but I do see their point.

        1. Time Warner is wrong on a technicality. MDN is right. iPad + this app = nothing more than a wireless TV.

          MDN’s Take is wrong though – the content providers aren’t batshit insane; they are just plain greedy.

  3. BS if Time Warner is stealing. Obviously some posters here have no clue what they are talking about. FACT is, you could only watch the programs in your own home, and NO where else. Its the exact same thing has someone having another TV hooked up to their cable line.

    I think Time Warner should just drop those channels from their lineup altogether, see they want to try bullying someone. MTV is crap anyways.

    1. Nice try Timmy. You show your ignorance by arguing from a visceral standpoint and knowing nothing about which you are babbling. Their contract limits their distribution rights to certain medium. If they want wider rights, they can negotiate for that, not just do whatever the hell they want.

      Idiot

      1. Now, now, DrDudester, please take this prescription and you will feel all better: “Pull broomstick from rectum and call me in the morning.” Sleep tight, little Dudester.

  4. The great thing about something like this is that you may be able to get rid of a TV and cablebox in your secondary areas, like kitchens or bathrooms or guestrooms. That’s a money saver, especially when you don’t have to pay that monthly cablebox fee.

    What if they could stream to an AppleTV, then an AppleTV can play your media library and selected channels from TimeWarner without a buggy cablebox. I mean, NBA LeaguePass is now streaming to my AppleTV, and it’s great. They stream HD to my ATV when it was streaming in SD to my laptop, and they didn’t ask for any additional money. TimeWarner is not asking for anything extra, they’re scared they’re going to start losing customers. I think this is a good thing.

  5. Get your HDTV signals for free over-the-air. Add EyeTV for PVR functions and install the EyeTV app on your iPad then stream live and recorded TV to it to your heart’s content…

    1. Yes EyeTV is really great, but you can only get over the air broadcasts. And it does not work everywhere, you need a pretty good signal for HDTV. But it is great for what it does. The frequent free upgrades to EyeTV just keep making it better and better.

  6. i look forward to the day when independent companies produce news and other programs and deliver it over the internet for a modest subscription and/or individual program purchase. Apple could do this and produce fresh content from NC or wherever.

    This woud bypass the tv channels as well as cable and direct tv.
    That could be awesome.

    That day is coming. I hope it arrives soon.

    1. Bloomberg.com baby.

      The little tiny Bloomberg has the mast forward thinking media policy of any cable channel out there. No georestrictions, no screen restrictions, just content wherever it will play.

      And Gamechangers is a solid documentary series.

    1. its being retooled.
      for the last 2 months..
      i HATE the mobile website version of MDN on the iphone, hope it comes back soon.
      the site on the ipad, is ok. iphone…. sucks.

  7. In a related story, CurrenTV is requesting TWC put them on something, anything, so that people will watch it.

    TWC replied that they will indeed offer it on the RIM-pad….if released….maybe.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.