The Time Warner Cable app had a ludicrously successful launch, thanks to its ability to let users watch cable content on their iPads (assuming they met some pretty stringent conditions.) Unfortunately, pressure from a number of programmers has caused them to drop some of their channels, reducing the utility of app. If you have the app, you won’t be able to watch any of the following:
- Animal Planet
- Comedy Central
- Discovery Channel
- National Geographic
In a rather acerbic note, Time Warner said:
Our iPad app is colossally popular with pretty much everyone except for the management and legal teams at Fox Cable, Viacom, and Discovery networks. Over 300,000 people have downloaded the app to date and watched selected live cable TV channels in their homes using a Wi-Fi connection with no new wires, no new TVs, and no new set-top boxes.
While we’ve received our share of customer complaints about the app on Twitter and in the App store, none of them have said “We really wish this thing had fewer channels on it. It’s just not fair to the programmers.”
And as you may have heard, the aforementioned programmers would like for us to pull the feeds for channels that they own from our iPad app. They are willing to threaten to sue over it, too. They also don’t want us to talk about this publicly for fear of bad PR — as though our customers are incapable of Googling a few news stories and cross-referencing them against a thinning channel lineup.