TWC Adds 17 New Channels To iPad App Overnight

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The channel count on Time Warner Cable's iPad app is now up to 37 national networks, after the operator announced Friday that it added 17 new channels from programmers including Disney/ESPN, Comcast Networks and Rainbow Media to its TWCable TV app for the iPad overnight.

The move comes a day after the cable company dropped a dozen channels in the face of cease-and-desist demands from Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks and Viacom.

The channels include a "diverse array of programming, including sports, news and public affairs networks," TWC said. The new channels are: CNBC World, CSPAN, CSPAN2, CSPAN3, Chiller, Disney XD, ESPNnews, G4, HSN, IFC, Jewelry, QVC, Sleuth, SOAPnet, Style, Golf Channel and WeTV.

Also included are Time Warner Cable's local news channels in each market where they are available: NY1, NY1 Noticias and YNN Austin.

In a statement, TWC president and chief operating officer Robert Marcus said: "This is a great lineup of channels that will enhance our customers' enjoyment of the TWCableTV app anywhere in their home. We are proud to be working with the programming partners who understand the importance of meeting our customers', and their viewers', desire to watch the content they pay for on any screen in their home."

Continued Marcus, "Our team is continuing to work on developments that will enhance the functionality of and the amount of content on the app. It is clear that the app has struck a chord with our customers and we fully intend to deliver a terrific experience."

On Thursday, TWC removed Discovery's Animal Planet, Discovery and TLC; Fox's FX and National Geographic Channel; and Viacom's BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nick, Spike and VH1. All three of the companies had sent cease-and-desist letters to the MSO, complaining that the app violated programming agreements and demanding their programming be removed.

The other 20 channels that are still available through the iPad app are: A&E, ABC Family, AMC, Bravo, CNBC, CNN, Disney Channel, E!, Food Network, Fox News Channel, Galavision, HGTV, HLN, Hallmark Channel, History, Lifetime Movie Network, MSNBC, Syfy, Travel Channel and USA Network.

Time Warner Cable has argued that it has an indisputable right to offer the programming on its iPad app, as the app allows access to subscribers only within in the home over a Wi-Fi network. According to the cable operator, more than 300,000 customers have downloaded the app since its March 15 debut.

The live feed of ESPN's flagship network is not available via Time Warner Cable's iPad app because the cable operator does not currently have the ability to comply with blackout restrictions required under national TV contracts, according to Matt Murphy, senior vice president of digital video distribution for Disney and ESPN Media Networks, speaking on a panel Wednesday at Multichannel News/B&C's Video Everywhere. But, he added, "we continue to be in conversations" with Time Warner Cable.

Separately, Cablevision Systems has developed a similar iPad app that will provide access to a subscriber's full TV lineup and video-on-demand, also limited to a customer's home. That app is still pending Apple's approval process for the iTunes App Store and is unrelated to any programmer complaints about TWC's app, according to Cablevision.

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