Time Warner Cable Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. are inching closer to true TV Everywhere. Both companies have introduced new app updates that allow live television streaming outside the home Wi-Fi network.
Cablevision took the first baby steps earlier this month by allowing subscribers to access to News 12, News 12 Traffic & Weather and MSG Varsity channels on its iPad Optimum app while away from their homes. (Hat tip to Engadget.) The selection is small, but that's because Cablevision is testing the Wi-Fi barrier with content it owns.
Time Warner is going a step further. The MSO is rolling out an update today to its TWC TV app for the iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone and iPod Touch. Supported, live content outside the home includes programming from Aspire, BBC America, beIN Sports (English/Spanish), FearNet, GMC, Pac-12 and the TVGuide Network.
The company says all Time Warner Cable local news channels will join the out-of-home streaming lineup in the future. An on-demand library with "over 1,100 hours for programming" is also being made available immediately.
Time Warner's update is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it means the cable company has been able to negotiate broader streaming rights with its content partners. Although most major networks are not included in the deal today, the general trend is likely to spread now that Time Warner has opened the door. (See also Why is Sling Getting a Free Pass?)
Second, because the new app can stream video over a Verizon 3G or 4G connection -- and not just a Wi-Fi network -- there are potentially significant bandwidth implications down the line. If live, mobile TV viewing increases substantially, Verizon is headed toward a major bump in network traffic, and subscribers could find themselves quickly running up against mobile data caps.
— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable