Time Warner Cable stoked the fires on the public-relations campaign defending its customers' right to watch live TV channels on iPads, running a full-page ad in Monday editions of several newspapers pledging to fight programmers that have objected to the feature.
The cable operator has said more than 300,000 customers have downloaded the free TWCable TV app for the popular Apple tablets since its debut March 15. Several programmers -- including Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks and Viacom -- sent cease-and-desist letters to the MSO, demanding that their networks be removed from the service because it fell outside the bounds of existing carriage agreements.
TWC last Thursday complied, removing 12 networks from those programmers, even though it continued to assert that it has the rights to offer them to iPads and other devices. The MSO also added more than two dozen other channels from Disney/ESPN, Comcast Networks, Rainbow Media and Turner Broadcasting System.
The operator on Monday placed an ad with the headline, "The Future of Television Is in Your Hands," in editions of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.
In the ad Monday -- reminiscent of publicity campaigns surrounding recent retransmission consent disputes -- TWC said, "300,000 people can't be wrong, and your enthusiasm has convinced us that we are on the right path. We will continue to fight to unlock the future of television and give you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy the content you pay for, in the privacy of your own home, on the screen of your choosing."
Last week TWC launched a dedicated website, IWantMyTWCableTVApp.com, to publicize its position and generate public support for the app. The Journal ad directs customers to the website.
Separately, over the weekend, an iPad app from Cablevision Systems with access to some 300 live TV channels and 2,000 video-on-demand selections became available through the iTunes App Store.