The growing pains associated with the emerging world of mobile content on tablets and smartphones are real and have legal implications for many companies, but one major skirmish has been settled, leaving the consumer as the ultimate winner. The lawsuits filed last year by Viacom and Time Warner Cable over the rights to stream certain channels on Time Warner's iPad app have been resolved.
The original dispute centered around Viacom's contention that Time Warner Cable didn't have the right to offer live streaming of the company's content on the iPad, despite the fact that the app was only designed for Time Warner Cable subscribers using the app in their homes. Now that the legal tussle has been resolved, over the next few weeks the new agreement will allow subscribers to watch Viacom channels on their iPads for in-home streaming. Details of the settlement were not revealed.
"Viacom and Time Warner Cable have agreed to resolve their pending litigations. All of Viacom's programming will now be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers for in-home viewing via Internet protocol-enabled devices such as iPads and Time Warner Cable will continue to carry Viacom's Country Music Television (CMT) programming," the two companies said in a joint statement. "In reaching the settlement agreement, Time Warner Cable and Viacom were also able to resolve other unrelated business matters to their mutual satisfaction. Neither side is conceding its original legal position or will have further comment."
Viacom settled a similar dispute with Cablevision last year. Of course this dispute resolution is really just a stepping stone for Time Warner Cable as it tries to move into the world of mobile. Currently the TWC TV app has more one-star ratings from users than anything else, with many users commenting that they have trouble simply getting the app to work properly. The iOS TWC TV app is currently available for free as a download on the iTunes app store.
Last month, TWC released a live-streaming app for Android. Earlier this year, it also enabled the service on PCs.