Friday, April 1, 2011

Networks Pulled Off Time Warner Cable App

It seems the TWC lawyers are rethinking their position on their current programmer agreements in enabling streaming of channels on their newest App. "Time Warner Cable pulled 12 networks from Discovery Communications, Fox Cable Networks and Viacom off its iPad streaming-video application on Thursday". And though they claim that the agreements offer TWC these streaming rights, better to work together than bicker.

At the end of the day, what TWC really wants is full live streaming rights of channels that they can offer on a tablet or smartphone to authenticated customers; not strictly inside the confines of the home, but everywhere and anywhere. Will consumers pay dollars for this added feature or will it be demanded as added value to their already high cable bills? Programmers expect higher license fees for new distribution platforms while operators are trying to embrace the new technology to retain and perhaps even grow the subscription base. Without these rights, the threat of cord shaving or worse, cord cutting, remains present.

It may also be in the Networks best interest to work out an extension of these rights. Unless license fee deals are better with streaming media providers, a lost cable sub's revenue will not be matched or exceeded with fees from Netflix or others. And with Hulu and Netflix gaining ground, cable operators and programmers should work together. But be careful, if Networks are getting higher license fees from new platforms, then they will not be compelled to give these streaming rights away to cable operators. And higher fees will only translate in higher cable bills.

1 comment:

  1. I hope this doesn’t cause an increase in monthly price for TWC iPad users. I can’t really understand why this app would even cause commotion when it can’t stream live TV outside of the home. I use that Remote Access app from my employer, DISH Network, to remotely stream DVR recordings and live TV to my Android phone. TWC definitely has some catching up to do.