Gunfight at the iPad Corral


Get ready for the real fireworks show.

Cablevision has thrown down the gauntlet with its iPad app that gives subscribers full TV lineup of around 300 channels (see Cablevision iPad Video App Debuts With 280-Plus Channels, VOD).

Time Warner Cable, which rolled out its own app for watching live TV, backed down in the face of legal threats from Discovery, Fox and Viacom, removing a dozen networks, even while portraying the programmers as huge crybabies. In a nutshell: The cable operators think delivering IP video to tablets is covered under their existing distribution deals, while some networks say it’s a different usage case on a different class of devices that needs a separate agreement.

But Cablevision is as pugnacious as they come and could push this fight into the courts. The MSO has shown a willingness to throw legal punches as it did in the RS-DVR case — which it ultimately won.

I did a quick check with some of the programmers who objected to the TWC app about the Cablevision version. It’s unclear right now if they’ll challenge Cablevision’s iPad app but one source at a network group confirmed that they believe it’s exactly the same issue.

Here’s a recap of our coverage on the iPad front from the past week:

* Time Warner Cable Streams Five More Nets Into iPad App

* TWC Adds 17 New Channels To iPad App Overnight

* TWC’s Witmer: We Didn’t Anticipate iPad App Backlash

* Time Warner Cable Yanks 12 Networks From iPad App

* Fox Demands TWC Pull Networks From iPad App

Video Everywhere: ESPN Needs Blackouts On TWC iPad App

TWC Mounts Campaign To Defend Streaming iPad App

Will the FCC Mandate IP Video Streaming to iPads?


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