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Time Warner Blinks, Eliminates Channels From TWCable TV App

Time Warner Blinks, Eliminates Channels From TWCable TV App

April 1, 2011
Hours after Fox Cable requested Time Warner remove its channels from the new TWCable TV app for the iPad the cable giant has blinked. Effective immediately, Time Warner customers will no longer be able to stream programs using the app from Discovery, Fox, and Viacom. The announcement was made through an email sent to Time Warner customers. The channels no longer available through the TWCable app include:
  • Discovery Channels: Animal Planet, Discovery, TLC
  • Fox Channels: FX, National Geographic
  • Viacom Channels: BET, CMT, Comedy, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, VH1
According to the email, Time Warner is expected to provide replacement channels as “quickly as (they) can, perhaps as early as tomorrow.” In the meantime, the cable company is expected to pursue “all of (their) legal rights against the programmers who don’t share (their) vision.”

This issue, which we’ve discussed a number of times in recent days, boils down to whether streaming live television programming is any different than providing it on a TV. Time Warner, Comcast, and Cablevision say streaming in the same thing. Networks such as Discovery, Fox, and Viacom, however, are convinced streaming is different and therefore want to control the rights, and “negotiate terms, and possibly a fee” for those rights, according to Business Insider. 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  they did not. As we indicated just days ago, 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. What do you think? Leave your comments below. We thank our readers, Jay and Spencer for providing the information each received in the Time Warner email.

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