updated 05:15 pm EDT, Thu March 31, 2011
Time Warner pulls Fox from iPad TV app
Time Warner Cable partly bowed to pressure on Thursday and said it would pull channels like Fox from its TWCable TV iPad app. It spun the withdrawal by saying it would concentrate on "enlightened programmers" who saw the value of tablet streaming. The decision also gave it incentive to attack Fox, Scripps, and other holdouts, ironically accusing them of greed by limiting how they could access TV.
"The enthusiasm of our customers and the programming partners who have embraced the app, rather than those who are solely focused on finding additional ways to reach into wallets of their own viewers, has convinced us more than ever that we are on the right path," spokesman Alex Dudley said.
Fox issued a cease-and-desist letter this week that insisted its deal hadn't granted permission to stream on the iPad. TWC has insisted that its rights already included the app.
Not mentioned in the comment was Time Warner's own resistance to allowing online content. Like other content providers, it has often taken steps to block or publicly criticize any Internet service that didn't include one of its cable subscriptions. It also briefly tested out low bandwidth caps on its cable modem Internet service that was widely interpreted as an attempt to scare users away from iTunes, Netflix, and other sources that would encourage them to drop cable TV.
Cablevision meanwhile said its own iPad app, Optimum App for iPad, had already been submitted to Apple. The app was just waiting on approval, the company told the WSJ. It had been delayed an unspecified amount from its original late March target, but the gap had no relation to disputes over content rights like with TWC.