Select customers are now able to stream live content from CNN and HLN beginning today via the iPad, in news first reported by The Wall Street Journal. However, the emphasis here is on some customers, but not all.

In a move to satisfy customer’s growing desire to stream live video content, Time Warner today is offering CNN and HLN real-time streaming.

Currently, the service is limited to customers of Comcast Corp., Dish Network Corp., Cox Communications, suddenLink, AT&T U-verse TV, and Verizon Communications Inc.

In total, this move touches around 50 million users.

To activate, customers must first upgrade the CNN for iPad app to Version 1.1. From there, simply click on the “Live TV” link at the top-right of the screen. The first time you do so, the app will ask you to confirm your cable and/or satellite provider.

The service is also available through CNN.com.

Strangely, Time Warner cable customers themselves cannot utilize this service.

According to Andy Heller, vice chairman of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting:

“We’re trying to lead by example. We’re trying to show that it works. If we don’t give consumers those options, you run the risk of seeing the potential for cord cutting,” he added.”

This isn’t the first time Time Warner has offered some of its customers access to programming via the web or through an iPad app.

Earlier this year, HBO Go debuted, which allows customers to access full content from the pay site via http://www.hbogo.com or from the free iPad app.

The service is largely restricted to DirecTV customers who also subscribe to HBO.

While we commend Time Warner for their latest move, we aren’t crazy about its limitations. After all, to receive the service you must still be a cable and/or satellite subscriber, which makes sense from a business point of view, but is still limiting.

However, we believe this move is one step closer to when iDevice owners can subscribe to TV content, regardless of whether they have cable and/or satellite service.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.