Codebreaker

Cable app flap goes to court

John Moe Apr 8, 2011

As expected, the stakes are being raised in the ongoing battle of whether cable companies can send cable channels to customers’ iPads. Time Warner was the first to offer a free app to customers who subscribed to both cable and internet. Some of the content producers, such as Viacom, weren’t too happy about their shows being displayed on a screen they weren’t getting paid extra for. Cablevision has also launched an app.

Now both Viacom and Time Warner are asking a judge to decide the issue, filing suits against one another to get it figured out:

Viacom said in its lawsuit that it cannot let Time Warner “unilaterally change the terms of its contractual relationship.” It acknowledged that the cable company had taken the cable channels off the tablet computer by April, but it said a court order would be necessary to keep the company from putting the channels back on. It also asked for $2 million for each violation of the contract between the companies, along with unspecified additional damages.

Time Warner said in a release that the court should rule that it is permitted to provide the programming over its cable systems for viewing on devices of its customers’ choosing, including iPads.

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