Advanced Television

iPad: Sky News fee, BBC 2m streams, Time Warner overwhelmed

March 17, 2011

The iPad, and the PC tablets that follow in its wake, are hitting the top of broadcaster agendas. Sky News has announced the launch of its first iPad app. For now it is free but will be restricted to Sky subscribers later in the year.

“Sky subscribers will get it as part of their package, everyone else will pay a monthly fee,” advised Sky News’ head John Ryley. The Sky News mobile app requires a separate subscription.

Meanwhile, the BBC has revealed its iPad and Android tablet and mobile apps for the iPlayer have been downloaded 460,000 times since launch last month. The broadcaster has received 2.1m requests for programmes from iPad devices.

Time Warner Cable was overwhelmed with demand when it launched a free iPhone app this week. The app allowed iPad owners to view 30 channels in their home, but company said the app’s popularity “unfortunately overwhelmed the system” meaning some customers could not download it. Time Warner Cable had to “temporarily” reduce the number of channels to just 15 to ease strain on the authentication process used to verify the user as a paying cable subscriber.

Time Warner Cable President Rob Marcus apologised: “While we anticipated that the app would be popular, the demand was overwhelming. We are sorry for any frustration and inconvenience our customers experienced.”

In addition, it is reported in the US that several programmers are unhappy TW went ahead without negotiating new licences are rights holders are nervous of pay channels available over WiFi to tablet devices.

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