Time Warner Cable is in hot water right now over an app that lets subscribers have access to content on various tablet devices. TV rights holders released strongly worded statements that such in-house streaming is not sanctioned by existing agreements.
Distribution via any sort of third-party app is not addressed in our carriage deals with Time Warner Cable or any other operator, said one affiliate chief. There is going to be a messy dissection of what the rights are but our position is that [this sort of distribution] is not authorized by our affiliate agreements.
While it’s currently only an option for short-range viewing, Time Warner Cable is clearly considering a streaming option for customers beyond their houses. We’re enabling the direct experience between the user and the content they love, said VP of Web Services Jason Gaedtke. If you’re on the road, on a train perhaps, maybe you can stream to that device, start watching an episode or a news program.
One affiliate CEO wasn’t incredibly worried about the current offerings. There’s the worry that you re letting our content out the front door, and then there’s the reality that, right now anyway, none of the MSOs are going that far with it. So, yes: Our reaction is somewhat informed by our wanting to give ourselves a little more leverage down the road.
If it’s not the portability issue, there’s the ad-insertion issue, the exec added. There are a lot of things to be wary of when someone starts moving your stuff around.