The cable TV industry may be looking at a big change in the future, according to Cablevision’s CEO Jim Dolan. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dolan stated “there could come a day’ when his company stops offering television service, making broadband its primary offering.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Cablevision’
The battle over tablet TV escalates with Viacom filing a lawsuit today demanding that Cablevision stop streaming TV to the cable company’s iPad app. For Cablevision subscribers, the free Optimum app allows viewers to watch up to 300 live channels on their tablets in their homes.
“Over the last few months, we have had limited and unproductive discussions with Cablevision about licensing iPad rights,” Viacom said in its statement. “We remain open to productive discussions, but we cannot wait indefinitely while our networks are being distributed without permission.”
Cablevision, meanwhile, maintains that its app “falls within our existing cable television licensing agreements with programmers.” In other words, merely another TV screen in the home (the live TV part of the app only works on an “Optimum authorized modem” connected to a home wireless network.) Programmers like Viacom argue that they should be compensated for the additional distribution to the rapidly-expanding tablet space.
Viacom sued Time Warner Cable back in May over its streaming app, but earlier this week the two companies asked the court for a “standstill agreement” to try to work on their own to reach a deal.
When Time Warner Cable released its iPad app earlier this year, it sparked legal threats. But get ready, Cablevision has just rolled out an iPad app that streams dramatically more live and on-demand TV programming — essentially everything you can get on your TV set, for free.
“Optimum Live TV for iPad” (iTunes) can stream up to 300 live TV channels as well as 2,000 or so VOD clips. It also powers your Cablevision DVR.
Shortly after the launch of the Time Warner Cable app, several channels disappeared from the service after a rash of behind-the-scenes legal threats over the fundamental question: who owns tablet distribution rights? Cablevision says that’s an easy answer.
“Content is not delivered over the internet,” says the Cablevision press release. “The application turns the iPad into an additional television, enabling Cablevision customers to view the same live programming and VOD content already being delivered to other TVs in the home as part of the service they have paid for. Cablevision has the right to distribute programming over its cable system to iPads configured in this way under its existing distribution agreements with programming providers.”
Like TWC, Cablevision’s app only works over WiFi. But in a new twist, subscribers without broadband access can also use the new app with the addition of a Cablevision modem (that can’t access the internet).
More than just another device, the battle over iPad content rights is really a battle over the “second screen.” If you can use an app to watch and control TV anywhere in the house, you’re more likely to use that app as you watch programming on your TV set. And from an advertising perspective, second screens will be ripe for new revenue.