The cease-and-desist letters have piled up high enough for Time Warner Cable to pull a bunch of major networks from its recently released iPad app, which allowed subscribers of the nation’s second-largest cable company to stream programming inside their homes. News Corp, which sent its letter yesterday, has been pulled from the service, as have all channels from Viacom and Discovery Communications — a total of 12 channels. From Time Warner Cable’s statement today:
We believe we have every right to carry the programming on our iPad app. But, for the time being, we have decided to focus our iPad efforts on those enlightened programmers who understand the benefit and importance of allowing our subscribers — and their viewers — to watch their programming on any screen in their homes. In the meantime, we will pursue all of our legal rights against the programmers who don’t share our vision.
Networks have been critical from the get-go about the TWCCableTV app, the first to stream live content, saying the tablet platform isn’t accounted for or authorized in current contracts with the cabler. In other words, networks want to be compensated for their content on each screen it’s played on. The app debuted March 15, and more than 300,000 people have downloaded it, according to Bloomberg.