TW Cable's iPad TV App Changes Channels

Happy Friday, cable gang. We end the week with the latest chapter in the Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) iPad app saga and the reaction of movie theater owners as Hollywood studios look to cut deals with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) that will tighten video-on-demand release windows.

  • After yanking a dozen channels from its iPad app lineup yesterday amid the specter of potential programmer-led lawsuits yesterday, TW Cable announced Friday morning it has added 17 networks, extending its current total to 37. Some of the new channels include CSPAN, Disney XD, WeTV, ESPNews, G4, IFC and Golf Channel. (See Cablevision to Stream Full TV Lineup to iPads , TW Cable Circles the iPad Wagons and Fox to TW Cable: Stop Streaming Our Stuff .)

  • It’s not clear how many viewers will be willing to pay $30 to watch VoD movies two months after they hit the big screen, but theater owners are ticked that four Hollywood studios didn't talk to them about the deals they cut with Comcast, DirecTV and VUDU Inc. (See The Prescience of John Sie .)

  • While worldwide set-top sales dipped 1 percent in 2010, boxes from Roku Inc. , Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Boxee are enjoying growth spurts, according to Infonetics Research Inc.

  • The exodus of top execs at Charter Communications Inc. continued Friday with word that EVP of Programming and Legal Affairs Gregory Doody has resigned, and is rejoining his advisory practice, Dumaine Advisors LLC, "to return to the restructuring arena." Among other recent high-level moves at the MSO, which emerged from bankruptcy in November 2009, CTO Marwan Fawaz left last month. (See Charter's CTO Resigns.)

  • Responding to an appeal in Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA)'s $1 billion copyright infringement suit, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) says it has made "good-faith efforts" to remove infringing videos from YouTube Inc. servers. (See YouTube Wins Landmark Case.)

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) will add Sons of Anarchy, Glee, Ally McBeal and The Wonder Years to its streaming video library under an expanded distribution deal with News Corp. (NYSE: NWS)'s 20th Century Fox . (See Netflix Shopping for Original TV Series.)

  • The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) released its latest CableCARD data Thursday, and not much has changed -- the vast majority of the security modules still don't grace retail products. The top 10 incumbent MSOs have deployed just north of 572,000 CableCARDs for use in retail devices versus 27 million operator-supplied set-top boxes outfitted with CableCARDs since the July 2007 ban on integrated security went into effect. Not exactly a great track record for government set-top mandates as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now turns its attention to a possible AllVid regime that would succeed the much-maligned CableCARD. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven' and CE Guys, Retailers Form AllVid Alliance.)

  • Viewing of video on mobile phones jumped 40 percent in 2010, with 25 million U.S. mobile phone subscribers watching an average 20 minutes of mobile video monthly during the fourth quarter, according to The Nielsen Co.

  • No shortage of April Fools jokes on the technology blogs today, including Will Richmond's take on Netflix's acquisition of HBO, and YouTube traveling in time to look at the "top five viral pictures of 1911." Check out the latter below:

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

  • SteveDonohue 12/5/2012 | 5:08:50 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad TV App Changes Channels

    The bickering between Time Warner Cable and networks is generating a lot of media coverage, but I don't think there are many subscribers demanding the ability to watch live video on their iPad while they are at home. Even if Time Warner decided to offer the live streams from every network it carries to iPad owners, would it be able to handle the demand? As former Comcast CTO Dave Fellows points out in an interview, Time Warner couldn't handle the demand from the limited number of subscribers using the app the first week it was launched. While Time Warner hasn't detailed the number of subcribers that have used the app, it has to be a very small universe of iPad owners who happen to be Time Warner Cable subscribers and want to watch live video at the iPad at the same time. 


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:08:49 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad TV App Changes Channels

    Cablevision's new iPad app will put that to the test though. It's starting off with 280+ TV channels and 2,000+plus titles of VoD. I agree that accessing all that outside the home is more attractive, but I suspect they need to start off in the home based on what they (the MSOs) think their current rights deals will allow.  But beyond the initial  novelty of it, i think the in-home app has some value for customers because it does give them a mobile screen for everything, so long as mobility is within the home. 

    Cablevision's approach is interesting in that it's leveraging its SDV platform to send signals in multiple formats, including IP, so it's argument here is that it's not using any sort of new-fangled technolgoy to deliver the programming it's already allowed to deliver to customer homes.  Also, customers have to agree to a ToS that they won't try to use the app outside the home. So they're being extra careful. JB

    OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 5:08:48 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad TV App Changes Channels

    It works real good on the patio or under a tree to watch basketball.


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:08:47 PM
    re: TW Cable's iPad TV App Changes Channels

    Which one do you have, TWC's or Cablevision's?  If TWC's, do they make you agree to a ToS that restricts usage ot the home like Cablevision's ToS does? JB

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