Time Warner Cable has set up a dedicated website -- IWantMyTWCableTVApp.com -- to make the case for why subscribers should be able watch any TV network they've subscribed to on an Apple iPad in their home, following complaints from some programmers that the cable operator is overstepping its rights.
On the site, TWC says more than 300,000 customers have downloaded the iPad app since its March 15 release. The app provides access to 32 live channels, including USA Network, Nick, Food Network, Discovery Channel and Fox News Channel.
"We're standing up for you," TWC says on IWantMyTWCableTVApp.com. "You've already paid for these TV programs to be delivered to your home, and we believe you should be able to watch these programs anywhere in your house, on any screen you want."
The iPad app is available to Time Warner Cable subscribers who take both broadband and expanded basic or higher, delivered through the cable modem and over the local Wi-Fi network in the home.
Scripps Networks has gone on the record to argue the Time Warner Cable app isn't allowed under current carriage deals. Among other media companies, Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks and Viacom also oppose the TWCable TV app.
According to Time Warner Cable, media companies that object to the TWCable TV app want to take the free app away because "They're worried about their bottom lines."
TWC's app delivers content to iPads "in the same way we deliver it to your TV set, over our own managed network. You pay for the right to view this content in your home already and we want you to be able to do it on your iPad too," Time Warner Cable director of digital communications Jeff Simmermon wrote in a blog post Monday announcing IWantMyTWCableTVApp.com.
"We've got broad rights to provide television programming to every screen in your home," Simmermon continued. "We have some agreements that allow for viewing outside the home, and we're likely to add more of those eventually, but this will take some time. Our goal is to make watching any content, any time, on any device anywhere simple and easy for our customers."
Eventually, Time Warner Cable expects to add more channels through the iPad app, as well as make live TV channels available to other Internet-connected devices, like Sony's Bravia and Samsung Electronics' Smart TVs.
"The entire concept of television is melting right now. It's oozing off of the credenza and into any number of other rectangular forms," Simmermon wrote. "Google TV has a full browser now, the iPad has spectacular HD video, and Samsung and other manufacturers offer product that doesn't need a set-top box. Our customers expect this of us. They already pay billions of dollars a year for television programming, and they should be able to watch it on any screen that they choose. Technology should work to make content easier to work, not harder."