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Viacom, which owns cable networks MTV and Nickelodeon, has sued to stop cable operator Cablevision from broadcasting its shows through an iPad application in the US.
Cablevision recently released an iPad app that allows subscribers to watch live TV channels at home for no additional charge. Because the shows are only available for home viewing, Cablevision argues it has the right to deploy this technology under its existing contract with Viacom. The iPad, it says, essentially becomes another TV screen.
Cablevision said its app “falls within our existing cable TV licensing agreements with programmers – including Viacom. It is cable TV service on the iPad, which functions as a TV, and is delivered securely to our customers in the home on Cablevision’s own proprietary network.”
But Viacom accused Cablevision of violating the terms of its agreement. “We have taken this action to protect our valuable content. Over the past few months, we have had limited and unproductive discussions with Cablevision about licensing iPad rights. We remain open to productive discussions, but we cannot wait indefinitely while our networks are being distributed without permission.”
Viacom is engaged in a similar action with Time Warner Cable, which also has an app that lets subscribers watch shows on their iPads at home. Viacom and Time Warner Cable say they are now engaged in mediation aimed at resolving the dispute.