Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fox and Scripps Want Off The Time Warner Cable App

Fox Networks has sent its official letter to TWC demanding that it's channels be removed from the App. "News Corp. joins Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) in challenging Time Warner Cable over transmission of live TV signals via an application on Apple Inc.’s iPad without consent. Time Warner Cable customers with Internet service are able to use the app to watch programming within their homes." And at the end of the day, it is all about incremental dollars for rights to stream its content.

I would certainly guess that the Time Warner Cable lawyers pored over each Networks agreements determining which ones gave them the loophole to carry its channel in such a manner. From that analysis, TWC picked its 32 cable channels to post on its App. And as these agreements may not have even considered this kind of distribution path, it seems likely that TWC believes that legally they have the right to offer in this manner.

How popular is this App? How many people have downloaded it and are using it? The fact that usage today is limited to inside the home, it may not truly satisfy the needs of the consumer. For a few dollars more, they could attach a Slingbox and get ALL their LIVE channels, plus DVR, remotely on their smartphone and iPad. And last I heard, Fox and Scripps haven't sued Slingbox or gotten more dollars from them.

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