US cable and internet service provider Time Warner Cable has announced that it will provide free Slingboxes to its top tier customers starting September.
The company said that customers who sign up for its top tier $99 per month Wide Internet service will get a $300 rebate for the total cost of the device.
A Slingbox is a set-top box that allows people to watch their TV programmes while they are away from home, provided that they have access to an internet connection.
According to The New York Times, the move is being seen as a shot at programmers like Viacom, who believe that cable companies should pay them for offering their content on devices other than the television.
Time Warner Cable had earlier launched an app for the iPad, which allowed people to stream cable programmes to their tablet devices. Viacom along with other programmers had filed a lawsuit against Time Warner Cable, claiming that it did have license to provide such a service.
The cable company on the other hand, had claimed that the contact it had with the programmers covered all the screens in a user’s home, including tablet devices.
Jeffrey A. Hirsch, executive VP & Chief marketing officer for Time Warner Cable said, “Over time we’re really trying to emphasize Wideband as a mainstream product.”