Viacom-TWC spat over iPad app resolved

Time Warner Cable has had an ongoing spat with Viacom over the streaming of the channels belonging to the latter, namely VH1, Comedy Central and MTV. However, the latest reports seem to indicate that the two media giants have made up and settled their differences, and now Viacom's channels have been added to Time Warner Cable's iPad app for streaming.

The spat (that later snowballed into litigation) had started last year due to Time Warner Cable allowing its subscribers to stream channels to their tablets (namely, iPads) within the confines of their home. This caused a lot of controversy as plenty of networks were unhappy, but none more so than Viacom.

Time Warner opined that an iPad was simply an additional TV set of sorts, and customers couldn't be charged separately for what was essentially just an additional screen. Viacom's position in the matter was poles apart though. Their opinion was that offering content on tablets was a whole new series of services altogether, and needed to be charged separately.

Networks like Viacom weren't pleased about the fact that metrics companies such as Nielsen couldn't measure show ratings on content being streamed to iPads. Given the sheer ubiquity of the Apple slate, and the dependence of networks on show ratings to pull in advertising revenue, networks perceived this to be a lose-lose situation for themselves.

As it stands though, Viacom has allowed TWC to add its channels to the Time Warner iPad app. Their official statement is as follows:

Viacom and Time Warner Cable have agreed to resolve their pending litigations. All of Viacom’s programming will now be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers for in-home viewing via internet protocol-enabled devices such as iPads and Time Warner Cable will continue to carry Viacom’s Country Music Television (CMT) programming. In reaching the settlement agreement, Time Warner Cable and Viacom were also able to resolve other unrelated business matters to their mutual satisfaction. Neither side is conceding its original legal position or will have further comment.


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