TW Cable's iPad App Enters Programmer Gun Sights

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s brewing battle with programmers over the MSO's new iPad app leads today's cable news roundup.

  • TW Cable has received "one or more" cease-and-desist letters (but no lawsuits yet) from programmers in reaction to a new app that lets customers stream linear channels to iPads, MSO Chief Programming Officer Melinda Witmer tells Multichannel News. She also acknowledges that the MSO didn't anticipate the reaction the app has received from programmers so far. (See TW Cable Circles the iPad Wagons.)

    Update: Fox acknowledged Wednesday that it sent a letter telling the MSO to stop streaming its channels, including FX, to the iPad, a Fox spokesman told Bloomberg.

  • TW Cable President and COO Robert Marcus went to bat for the MSO's new iPad app on CNBC yesterday, claiming its contracts with programmers give TW Cable "very broad rights" and that "there are really no references whatsoever to specific devices. ... One screen is essentially equivalent to another."

    Here's the interview:

  • While Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and CEO Charlie Ergen haven't said anything publicly about a Montana retailer that was giving away guns and rifles with Dish programming, RadioShack has ordered the Hamilton store to pull the plug on the controversial promotion that generated headlines nationwide.

    Steve Strand, owner of the independent store, stands by the promo, despite that RadioShack tells him it's tarnishing the company's brand. "I don't think this is a negative impact. I don't think they understand the way of life in Montana," he told the Ravalli Republic.

  • Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman and cable thorn Kevin Martin and a partner have created a growth equity firm called Carmichael Partners, with their first investment going into Bandwidth.com , GigaOm reports. (See Kevin Martin's Greatest Hits .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) programming head and former Fox Cable Networks Group Jeff Shell was named president of Comcast International Media Group, following the restructuring of NBCUniversal LLC ’s international channels division. (See Comcast, NBCU Seal the Deal .)

  • Roku Inc. is kicking its retail engine into a higher gear now that it's selling its Roku XD over-the-top video set-top at Best Buy stores for $79.99. (See Is Roku a 'Virtual MSO'? )

  • Cox Communications Inc. subscribers could lose the signals from stations owned by Lin Media Corp. on Thursday, if the companies fail to sign a new retransmission-consent deal.

  • The memoir from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder and former Charter Communications Inc. chairman Paul Allen looks like a page-turner, including accusations that Bill Gates tried to take shares from Allen in the early days of Microsoft. (See Paul Allen Suit Down, Not Out.)

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:09:07 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad App Enters Programmer Gun Sights

    Cooler heads prevailed in the Cox-LIN TV retrans battle, as they've agreed in principal to a deal for continued carriage of LIN broadast stations in several Cox markets in Rhode Island, Alabama, Connecticut, and Mass. The deal comes together as the FCC starts to look at retrans reform. JB




    TheEndofTelevision 12/5/2012 | 5:08:58 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad App Enters Programmer Gun Sights

    I have to agree with Time Warner Cable that both content creators, programmers, and cable companies have to become more flexible in delivering content to the increasingly mobile consumer. I wrote a blogpost about this discussion. Do distribution rights include the iPad and future applications? Time Warner Cable thinks so. http://bit.ly/fcP50n (http://theendoftelevision.com/post/4242002263/do-distribution-rights-include-the-ipad-and-future-appli)

    Visit my blog: www.theendoftelevision.com

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