Viacom Sues Cablevision Over Live TV App for iPad, Negotiating Settlement With Time Warner

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Back in March, cable provider Time Warner launched an iPad app that allowed subscribers to the company's TV and Internet services to access live TV from a number of channels via their iPads while on their home Wi-Fi networks. The cable company was forced, however, to quickly pull channels from several content providers who objected to the usage. Disputes with Fox and Discovery were resolved within weeks, while Time Warner filed suit against Viacom over the issue, claiming that its contract did allow the cable provider to broadcast channels such as Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon to iPads.

Cablevision's Optimum for iPad live TV app

In the meantime, Cablevision launched its own iPad app bringing full access to the cable company's cable lineup as well as on-demand content. In the process, Cablevision took content providers head-on with statements laying out its position that such an offering was allowable under carriage contracts for the various channels.

Things had been quiet for the past several months, but a couple of developments yesterday and today are reigniting the debate. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Time Warner and Viacom have placed their legal dispute on hold as they work toward a settlement.
The two companies said in a court filing made public Wednesday that they had reached a "standstill agreement," which put all the litigation on hold as of June 17. "In an attempt to resolve this and other litigation and potential litigation, the parties have entered into a standstill agreement," the parties said in the agreement.

The two companies are currently in talks over whether to return channels like MTV to the Time Warner Cable app, but it is unclear what the outcome of those talks will be, according to people familiar with the matter.
While there may be hope for some sort of resolution for Time Warner, Viacom has actually ratcheted up the pressure on Cablevision, as Reuters reports that Viacom has filed a lawsuit against Cablevision over its live TV app for iPad. The Wall Street Journal provides more detail on the lawsuit:
In the suit Thursday, Viacom said it is "committed to meeting consumer demand for broadband delivery of its programming."

"To this end, Viacom has reached reasonable agreements with several emerging and established digital media distributors so that they can stream Viacom's content and also provide an outstanding user experience.

"What Viacom cannot do, however, is permit one of its contracting partners, Cablevision, to unilaterally change the terms of its contractual relationship," it said in the lawsuit.
Apple's iPad has become a popular way for users to consume video, with streaming video services such as Netflix and Hulu experiencing strong success on the platform. Live television is yet another step forward for iPad video consumption, with some networks such as ESPN putting out their own apps for live video while cable providers such as Time Warner and Cablevision have been attempting to bring a breadth of channel offerings to their customers.

Article Link: Viacom Sues Cablevision Over Live TV App for iPad, Negotiating Settlement With Time Warner
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,113
419
I can't believe I am actually rooting for a cable company.

Way to go Cablevision. The results of these lawsuits will be groundbreaking in a lot of areas. Essentially, Time Warner and Cablevision are arguing that the method is irrelevant; they have the license to distribute Viacom content to Time Warner/Cablevision subscribers over cable lines, and are switching from an analog transmission to doing it over IP on the same cable lines. Viacom is arguing that they should have to pay for seperate licenses to send the same content over the same wires to the same customers using a slightly different transmission method.


We should all be hoping for Viacom to get smacked down here, or we'll all suffer.
 

DiamondMac

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2006
3,299
16
Washington, D.C.
Right, so we can expect the Big Companies to resist any and all live TV unless it is on exactly their terms and on their apps?

Awesome. Can't wait to see how much that costs me
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
1,962
316
Meanwhile Dish Network keeps offering internet-based access to the content on your Dish 722 or 922 receiver. Seems Dish knew what they were doing when they had all content served from the receiver itself.
 

pimentoLoaf

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2001
1,976
1
The SimCity Deli
Wouldn't surprise me if Apple brings out an iPad that transforms it literally into a TV for WiFi and 3G/4G, essentially eliminating cable and satellite TV companies for good. :cool:
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2007
568
192
Translation: "A provider of our content cannot give away a value-added benefit to their customers, without us first having the opportunity to nickel-and-dime them by charging for the same content twice."
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,113
419
Wouldn't surprise me if Apple brings out an iPad that transforms it literally into a TV for WiFi and 3G/4G, essentially eliminating cable and satellite TV companies for good. :cool:
An AppleTV with a TV tuner that can reverse-Airplay the signal hooked up to it to an iPad?

That'd work, but I see no motive for Apple to do it. It'd keep people still using the cable and satellite companies.

Apple's trying to kill them with iTunes already. They just need to add streaming content for live stuff like sports/news.
 

DiamondMac

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2006
3,299
16
Washington, D.C.
Translation: "A provider of our content cannot give away a value-added benefit to their customers, without us first having the opportunity to nickel-and-dime them by charging for the same content twice."
This is where someone here tells you that the Cable people deserve to get paid AGAIN if the content is anywhere BUT your TV

Or...someone saying that the Cable company can and should get to do WHATEVER they want WHENEVER they want HOWEVER they want b/c that is awesome 100% capitalism! Yeah!
 

roland.g

Suspended
Apr 11, 2005
6,778
2,000
At current the best way to get live TV content on your iPad/iPhone or even computer is to go Sling. May not be the cheapest. But it is the best until all those companies get it sorted out, and I don't see that anytime soon. The new iPad App for DirecTV is awesome. Don't need your remote anymore and scrolling what is on is easier than even. Totally customizable/multiple guides, but you can't watch on it, just control.
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
Your congress should pass a law to prevent double billing. As long as the app validates that the user is a subscriber in good standing, they should not be allowed to charge a second time.
 

roland.g

Suspended
Apr 11, 2005
6,778
2,000
An AppleTV with a TV tuner that can reverse-Airplay the signal hooked up to it to an iPad?

That'd work, but I see no motive for Apple to do it. It'd keep people still using the cable and satellite companies.

Apple's trying to kill them with iTunes already. They just need to add streaming content for live stuff like sports/news.
There is always someone propagating the big iTunes myth. Apple has no interest in killing cable. They have no real interest in iTunes as some end all video consumption model. They make little to no profit on anything iTunes whether it be App Store, iTunes music and movies, iTunes rentals. Their 70/30 split is to make enough money to make a marginal profit at best. Less than 10% and probably closer to 5%. iTunes, App Store, all that serves one purpose and one purpose only. SELL HARDWARE. Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iPads. What they generate in revenue and profit on hardware makes the little actual net profit from iTunes pale in comparison. It is a drop in the bucket. But they wouldn't sell nearly the amount of hardware or make the money they do without the content to drive the ecosystem.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,317
356
Torrance, CA
At current the best way to get live TV content on your iPad/iPhone or even computer is to go Sling. May not be the cheapest. But it is the best until all those companies get it sorted out, and I don't see that anytime soon. The new iPad App for DirecTV is awesome. Don't need your remote anymore and scrolling what is on is easier than even. Totally customizable/multiple guides, but you can't watch on it, just control.
I use a SlingBox as well and you are right. This is why I have been saying for some time we need an App Store for the ATV. This would allow a SlingBox Native App on the ATV. I can use Mirroring to do this from my iPad 2 (but not iPad 1 or iPhone) but I would prefer a native ATV App for SlingBox. Also, this would open up the ability to add Hulu Plus to the ATV and many other Apps.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2007
568
192
There is always someone propagating the big iTunes myth. Apple has no interest in killing cable. They have no real interest in iTunes as some end all video consumption model. They make little to no profit on anything iTunes whether it be App Store, iTunes music and movies, iTunes rentals. Their 70/30 split is to make enough money to make a marginal profit at best. Less than 10% and probably closer to 5%. iTunes, App Store, all that serves one purpose and one purpose only. SELL HARDWARE. Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iPads. What they generate in revenue and profit on hardware makes the little actual net profit from iTunes pale in comparison. It is a drop in the bucket. But they wouldn't sell nearly the amount of hardware or make the money they do without the content to drive the ecosystem.
I wonder about this. The amount of bandwidth Apple would have to serve for iTunes TV streaming would be astronomical. Maybe in 5 to 10 years? I've heard the 30% they get for a 99c song download is marginally enough to cover costs. And that's roughly 5mb a song. How much would they have to charge to stream an hour of HDTV? But then I think, obviously profitable for Netflix to make it work. So maybe the bandwidth costs are greatly exaggerated.
 

crisss1205

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2008
821
108
NYC
At current the best way to get live TV content on your iPad/iPhone or even computer is to go Sling. May not be the cheapest. But it is the best until all those companies get it sorted out, and I don't see that anytime soon. The new iPad App for DirecTV is awesome. Don't need your remote anymore and scrolling what is on is easier than even. Totally customizable/multiple guides, but you can't watch on it, just control.
I love my SlingBox, where I go to school they only have Cablevision in the dorms (iO TV) and miss my HBO and Showtime from home (FiOS). And it works out great when I travel too.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,317
356
Torrance, CA
I wonder about this. The amount of bandwidth Apple would have to serve for iTunes TV streaming would be astronomical. Maybe in 5 to 10 years? I've heard the 30% they get for a 99c song download is marginally enough to cover costs. And that's roughly 5mb a song. How much would they have to charge to stream an hour of HDTV? But then I think, obviously profitable for Netflix to make it work. So maybe the bandwidth costs are greatly exaggerated.
I would add Hulu Plus to your Netflix Comment.
 

Oman

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2008
181
10
I can't believe I am actually rooting for a cable company.

Way to go Cablevision. The results of these lawsuits will be groundbreaking in a lot of areas. Essentially, Time Warner and Cablevision are arguing that the method is irrelevant; they have the license to distribute Viacom content to Time Warner/Cablevision subscribers over cable lines, and are switching from an analog transmission to doing it over IP on the same cable lines. Viacom is arguing that they should have to pay for seperate licenses to send the same content over the same wires to the same customers using a slightly different transmission method.


We should all be hoping for Viacom to get smacked down here, or we'll all suffer.
Yep, the Viacoms of the world are just greedy. Time Warner and Cablevision do not get an added benefit other than more people will subscribe to their cable service which benefits the Viacoms of the world also. Essentially the cable companies are giving the app away for free, which means they are absorbing the cost of development and upkeep in hopes that people like it so much that they choose to subscribe to their service to use the app. So the only folks who are trying to double dip are the Viacoms. Interesting enough is Time Warner is a content provider and a internet service provider and they see nothing wrong with what cablevision and essentially they have done. Time warner can be as greedy as viacom. This should be interesting for that reason and that reason alone, Time Warner is on both sides.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
12,512
I'm rooting for Cablevision. It's my most used app on my iPad.

Attention content providers- If you think I'm going to pay more to watch on my iPad inside my own home, you're ****ing crazy.
 

Akuratyde

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2011
249
1
Breaking news on MacRumors:

Today, some tech company sued some other tech company. The same thing happened yesterday, and we're predicting the same thing will happen tomorrow. Now, back to the weather...
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2007
568
192
Breaking news on MacRumors:

Today, some tech company sued some other tech company. The same thing happened yesterday, and we're predicting the same thing will happen tomorrow. Now, back to the weather...
Yes that's very much how it is. The disruption the Internet causes to business models, whether it be book publishing, telephony, or music/video content, can be likened to watching these industry giants play musical chairs on the Titanic to determine who rides out on a lifeboat. Everyone is fighting each other to be in a better position when it all goes down
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,302
27
Translation, Time Warner paid off greedy Viacom.

Cablevision tries to stand up for their licensing rights.
 

TheSlush

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2007
658
22
New York, NY
Oh, get it together, you scared, content-providing morons! People want your stuff! Figure out ways to give it to them, not keep it from them!

Get on the bus or you'll find yourselves under it!
 

The Phazer

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,849
497
London, UK
Oh, get it together, you scared, content-providing morons! People want your stuff! Figure out ways to give it to them, not keep it from them!

Get on the bus or you'll find yourselves under it!
They do. They just want the cable companies to pay for it. They have to pay additional money to writers, directors and actors as a result too...

Phazer
 

jvmxtra

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2010
1,245
3
Once again I MUST bring up coward way of verizon FIOS of not taking any action whatsoever.

NOt even an announcement to their customers saying they are doing anything or waiting for these legal issues to get resolve. They took all the credit in the world last year as first major company to break the news and completely took a step back while other cable companies fighting for their customer.

What a joke...
 
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