Bright House Networks, drafting off Time Warner Cable's lead, launched a free iPad app that offers its cable TV subscribers access to 97 live TV channels on their tablets over a home Wi-Fi connection.
The lineup includes A&E, Discovery, Lifetime, SyFy, Fox News, CNN, Disney Channel, HGTV, History, Travel Channel and USA Network. The full list of networks currently available on the Bright House app, subject to restrictions based on a customer's cable package, is available here: http://brighthouse.com/corporate/structural/modals/ipad.
The app, released Oct. 28 in Apple's iTunes App Store, is similar to live TV streaming apps Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems launched earlier this year -- both of which generated complaints from some programmers that the feature violated current distribution agreements. The MSOs counter that because the apps provide TV to subscribers only in their homes, they're covered under the carriage deals.
Viacom took the issue to court, suing both Cablevision and TWC. The media company reached an agreement with Cablevision resolving the dispute but has not yet come to terms with Time Warner Cable.
Notably, there aren't any Viacom networks available in the Bright House app. The operator piggybacks off of Time Warner Cable programming agreements.
Bright House requires customers to have digital-basic service (or higher); a Wi-Fi connection; and a BHN My Services username and password.
Last week, DirecTV released an upgrade to its free iPad app that lets subscribers with HD DVRs watch 38 channels live on their tablets over a home Wi-Fi connection.