Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Viacom (NYSE: VIA) have escalated their disagreement over the iPad to the judicial level, proving, once again, that no matter the state of the economy, lawyers are never in a recession.
The cable operator filed a "request for declaratory judgment relating to Viacom cable networks" essentially asking the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to confirm that it can, indeed, include Viacom programming on an iPad streaming video app. After all, the MSO argues, it's paid for the programming for its subscribers to view however they want in the comfort of their homes.
Viacom shot back with its own injunction to stop Time Warner from putting Viacom content on the iPad because it somehow violates the companies' agreement.
The legal tussle is probably just the start. Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC), after a brisk start to doing its own iPad thing, is now watching programming sources mount their own opposition. Cablevision, like Time Warner, maintains it's done nothing wrong and has the right to show programming on whatever device it wants. Avowed fast-follower Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has not yet stepped into the iPad programming space but is close. And newly acquisitive Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) has its own twist with an app that requires the user to have a Sling Adapter.
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