Time Warner Cable pulls channels from TWCable TV app for iPad

Time Warner Cable has had to remove channels from its iPad application, TWCable TV with immediate effect. We already heard that this may be happening but Time Warner has now confirmed this with a company statement. The networks that seem to have taken umbrage with Time Warner are Discovery Communications, Fox Cable and Viacom. This means the next time you fire up your TWCable TV application on your iPad, you will be missing Animal Planet, Discovery, TLC, FX, National Geographic, BET, CMT, Comedy, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1.

Unfortunately, the owners of those channels don't yet share our vision for making it easy for consumers to view the content they've already paid for on different screens within the home. We would rather use our technical resources to distribute the channels of programmers who agree that their content should be seen on any screen inside your home, while we pursue legal solutions that would let us continue deploying this Application.

Just as Amazon is facing resistance in letting customers stream their own music, this once again shows the wide gap between new technology and old media. Time Warner is clearly very unhappy about the situation and have set up a dedicated site to provide up to date information on any future developments.

[Thanks Anthony for the tip!]

[Time Warner Cable]

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Time Warner Cable pulls channels from TWCable TV app for iPad


You know this is the company shooting themselves in the foot. It is about time that the cable company stands up and for its customers and say to these stations that they are not going to carry their brand if they don't get on board. Because they are essentially saying that people cannot watch tv we already paid for because it is on a certain brand of television device called an iPad. Next up, these stations will demand that they only be broadcasted to Sony televisions or whatever brand they choose. Customers have already paid for the viewing rights and should be allowed to watch the crap when, where and how they want.

Time Warner has replaced the channels with some new ones like the Golf Network and IFC. Nothing exciting, but it's nice to see they are committed to getting as much content as possible available on the iPad.

This just means the owners of these channels want more money to distribute their material on a "new" platform. That's all it's about. They know they can cash in on this cow while it's hot and they don't want to pass up the opportunity to make more money.

I'm really happy with what Time Warner is trying to do for it's customers! My bill with them is $300 a month when you add in 4 DVRs, every possible channel, and telephone & Internet service. I'm so tired of these labels and studios trying to find ways to rob us! All they do is wait for innovation to pop up and as soon as we find a new way to enjoy what we've already given them money for they stick their hand out again! It's like Hanes charging me again for wearing my t-shirt inside out or backwards. I personally would be willing to not watch any more of those channels just to make a stand for once! I'm also proud of Apple for trying to make it so we can download songs that we've bought through iTunes as many times as we want. I can't tell you how many times I've had to pay to download the same songs just because I didn't have it on my iPhone when I wasn't able to sync with my desktop. Once I even lost my entire library because of a dead hard drive. What these companies do is not right. They should not think that every new invention is a reason for them to bill us AGAIN!! I feel like I'm being pimped!

No matter. The cost of producing TV content is going down all the time. Cross-network syndication is inevitable. The networks, like the record labels, are becoming less and less necessary.

It is hard not to feel bad for TWC here; they know that cable TV is on the verge of being displaced, at least for some customers, and they want to make sure they have an offering for those customers to keep them happy and on the books. They are a middleman in danger of becoming irrelevant, and they know it.
While you'd think the networks would be happy with anything that gets their content in front of more eyeballs, that is short term thinking. The networks and providers are looking at a long game where they can distribute their product directly to the viewer, without having to pay that middleman a distribution fee.
These savings will be passed onto the customer, so killing TWC ipad channels is the first step towards better service and lower prices.

What's the big deal, it only works in your house, I could see if you could stream it anywhere on the net with that app.

The big deal is that these are channels and content that we are already paying for. It should not matter whether we are watching them on an HDTV, laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, or whatever.
For me, I like the concept of my iPad being like a mobile tv (in addition to everything else it does well) that I can take anywhere in my house from bed, to the bathtub, to outside on my deck.

They should just take those channels off of cable too. If they don't want people watching them then nobody should! What is the difference if people watch them on a tv or something else! It's not like the ones that can use the app aren't paying for the channels! What's needed is a consumer class action suit against these media companies...

I'm impressed by TWC's stance on this and hope it signals a long-overdue eveloution in the tradional broadcast industry.