Video services

High Demand Crashes TWC's iPad App

From traffic overloads to concerns from cable programmers, responses to the launch of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s app for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad leads today's cable news roundup.

  • Time Warner Cable's new iPad app crashed last night due to overwhelming demand. As a result, TWC says it was forced to temporarily reduce the number of live networks available through its iPad app from 32 to 15 to help ease the strain on the "authentication process" as its engineers look to fix the problem. (See TWC's iPad App Launches With (Some) Live TV.)

  • TWC's new app also has some networks riled up over rights issues as the MSO starts to distribute live video to the Apple tablets, according to AdWeek, which didn't name any of the networks. (See Comcast, Networks Spar Over iPad App .)

  • BTIG Research Analyst Richard Greenfield took TWC's new app for a spin, noting that channels change fast and the video quality is quite decent. He was a bit surprised that it doesn't yet support major broadcast networks and that the MSO's broadband video deal with ESPN remains locked to PCs. Here's his video demo:

  • No surprise that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) doesn't dig AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s plan to slap data caps on broadband customers, arguing that the service provider is "moving in the absolute opposite direction from what consumers want." (See Will Cable Follow AT&T's Lead on Usage Fees? and AT&T to Fit Subs With Broadband Caps .)

  • DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) may be gearing up to launch its newest TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) offering sometime this year, but the satellite giant continues to spread the set-top wealth. On Wednesday, DirecTV extended its advanced set-top software and DVR deal with NDS Ltd. through 2016. (See NDS Cracks the US Cable Code .)

  • An NFL lockout could cost DirecTV more than US$600 million in revenue from its exclusive Sunday Ticket subscription package, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. (See DirecTV Vulnerable .)

  • A New York bankruptcy judge has blessed Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s revised $1.5 billion bid for DBSD North America, putting Charlie Ergen & Co. a step closer toward obtaining the bankrupt satellite/terrestrial firm and its coveted spectrum. Dish originally offered about $1 billion for DBSD, but the courts let DBSD entertain competitive bids. (See Dish's Spectrum Chase Hits a Speed Bump and Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)

  • Video-on-demand distribution now accounts for 10 percent of earnings for movie producers, up from 3 percent not that long ago.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) expects 2011 to be its best year yet for selling banner ads and telescoping ads through its i-Guide interactive program guide, as it rolls out the guide to nearly 5 million homes on Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)/Scientific Atlanta set-tops.

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

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:10:19 PM
    re: High Demand Crashes TWC's iPad App

    BTIG's Greenfield sent out an update early this afternoon to say that all 32 channels are back up, and reiterated that the issue was not a lack of rights  or due to the threat of litigation but an overloading of servers linked to subscriber  authentication.  But he suggests that networks and their lawyers may not sit idle for long.  "We believe cease and desist letters will be coming to TWC in the near-future- stay tuned..."


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:10:19 PM
    re: High Demand Crashes TWC's iPad App

    Well, at least TWC has a sense of humor about the trouble they saw early on. The headline on the blog describing the problem is: Heavy Demand Crashed Our iPad App Last Night: It's Not a Good Party Unless You Run Out of Beer.

    So, TWC's engineers are apparently on a keg run. 

    Some customers probably appreciate some of this tongue in cheek, but the lone commenter isn't all that enthused, wondering why TWC would be surprised to see such high demand. JB




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