updated 08:55 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Fox tells Time Warner to remove channels from iPad
Fox on Wednesday said it had given a cease-and-desist letter to Time Warner Cable asking it to pull Fox channels from the TWCable TV iPad app. The studio believed Time Warner didn't have rights to stream its shows on Apple's tablet, even over the app's home Wi-Fi limitation. Time Warner hadn't said to Bloomberg if it would contest the letter but in a post on its company blog reiterated its view that its home TV rights included the iPad.
"We've got broad rights to provide television programming to every screen in your home," it said. "We have some agreements that allow for viewing outside the home, and we're likely to add more of those eventually, but this will take some time. Our goal is to make watching any content, any time, on any device anywhere simple and easy for our customers."
The stance of a TV liberator was unusual given Time Warner's typical hostility to Internet video sources that it doesn't control. Time Warner has, like most cable operators, tried to shield its existing cable business from independent online sources but has been one of the more aggressive in offering online video as a bonus.
Comcast and Cablevision have also signalled that they would offer live TV streaming to the iPad in the future, but none of them are known to have received warnings from content providers. Fox, as well as fellow objector Scripps, waited until TWCable TV was live to offer objections. Cablevision may have a precedent that would deter challenges, however, since it got permission for its Network DVRs that would explicitly let it host cable programming on an IP-based source.