Viacom (NYSE: VIA), which only this week decided to play semi-nice with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), has turned its legal guns on Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC), claiming that there's nothing in any licensing agreement between the two companies that allows content to flow from the TV screen to an iPad or other screen.
"Over the last few months we have had limited and unproductive discussions with Cablevision about licensing iPad rights," a Viacom statement said "We remain open to productive discussions, but we cannot wait indefinitely while our networks are being distributed without permission."
Cablevision, of course, issued its own statement via an e-mail from staffer Jim Maiella that stated: "Cablevision's very popular Optimum App for iPad, which has been available to our customers for nearly three months, falls within our existing cable television licensing agreements with programmers-including Viacom. It is cable television service on the iPad, which functions as a television, and is delivered securely to our customers in the home on Cablevision's own proprietary network."
Cutting to the chase, the war between the programmer and service providers comes down to common cents. Viacom can't charge more for ads that appear on the iPad because there is no way of tracking how many viewers watch their content on the device.
"That's one of the obstacles for getting ad-supported programs on TV Everywhere," Viacom President-CEO Philippe Dauman said at The Cable Show last week.
- PC Magazine has this story
Cable programmers, providers are codependent; they just don't know it
Cablevision hails iPad app success, content owners start to grumble
Time Warner Cable, Viacom head to court over iPad
Time Warner Cable, Viacom litigation in 'standstill' mode