Verizon demos live TV on iPad, but content rights issues leave it at the gate

Verizon (NYSE: VZ), like Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) earlier this month, is planning to bring limited amounts of live television programming from its FiOS TV service to subscribers' Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads early next year. But, the telco said, that service will be available only in subscriber's homes--initially.

Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir, while demonstrating the iPad app--called "What's Hot"--described it as a "software set-top box," that shows a selection of programming viewers in a user's area are watching. Users can then tune into any of them by using the touch screen.

Verizon says that, because the shows are being watched by a subscriber in their own home, it doesn't believe it needs to pay content providers additional fees for extending the service to another device, nor will it charge extra for the service.

That could be a tough sell to content providers, who argue that content appearing on a new device--inside or outside a subscribers' home--should earn additional revenues for them. That discussion is likely to intensify as more content owners develop their own TV Everywhere initiatives, which gives them deeper control of their programming, in terms of where it appears--and what it appears on--as well as how they're compensated for it.

Verizon acknowledges that if it develops a service-on-the-go plan, allowing subscribers to view programming on a mobile device away from their home, additional discussions would be needed with content owners. The upshot is that the What's Hot app isn't likely to be available any time soon, as talks about content rights will certainly slow its roll out.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

Related article:
Cablevision had big plans for iPad, Android

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