Cable giant Time Warner has been sent a cease and desist order over its week-old TWCable TV app, according to Business Insider. The app allows the streaming of live television on the iPad over Wi-Fi, which apparently upsets some TV network executives.
Citing an industry source, Business Insider says the unnamed networks see iPad streaming as a different service than cable TV, and therefore want to control the rights, and “negotiate terms, and possibly a fee” for those rights.
For its part, Time Warner had already placed restrictions on how, and who can use, the app. These limitations should have pleased the networks, but apparently they did not.
First, the TWCable TV app is only for Time Warner customers (a restriction that should be obvious). Second, the iPad needs to be connected to the same network as the user’s cable box. Finally, there are only 30 stations available for streaming.
Potentially, this could become a big issue for the entertainment industry as a whole, with consumers stuck in the middle. As the number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices grow, the demand for live television streaming to those devices will grow too. Hopefully, this will all be cleared up and the result will be more streaming (not less) and not lead to higher cable prices.
So far, there has been no official response from Time Warner and the TWCable TV app remains available in the App Store. Perhaps this fact is the response.
We’ll keep you updated on this story.