As tablets become more popular, content for these devices is in increasing demand and the latest and greatest in tablet computing is live streaming TV. Apps providing this functionality are making a splash, and there are more on the way, but significant legal and financial problems remain.
Time Warner Cable was first out of the gate last week when it launched an iPad app that promise to allow users to live-stream more than 30 cable networks to their iPads. The news made quite a splash, creating so much demand that Time Warner had to temporarily drop some of the networks they offered to stream to keep their servers running, but the app is also drawing lawsuits from content providers such as Fox and Time Warner was forced to drop some networks from the app permanently. In the wake of the lawsuit, Time Warner is doubling down on its commitment, replacing the lost content with even more channels, but the battle lines are clearly drawn.
Now Cablevision has launched its own iPad app, which provides access to an even wider array of content than Time Warner. Rather than streaming directly across the Internet, however, Cablevision is streaming video across its proprietary Advanced Digital Cable network in the hope of sidestepping Time Warner's legal troubles.
It's hard to say how successful this strategy will be. Hollywood seems much jumpier about streaming video of late, even relatively entrenched providers like Netflix are starting to feel some push-back. Only time will tell how the battle over streaming video will end but with Time Warner, and now Cablevision, providing the service momentum it seems like a now or never moment for content providers to fight back.