The iPad may be standing on the vanguard of the new method for television and film content, if only the cable companies would just get along.
It looks like Viacom and Time Warner Cable have finally sat down to kiss and make up, or at least to take their battle out of the courts. Now a New York federal court has allowed them to go into private negotiation about their rights to stream their services over the iPad utilizing an app framework.
The battle really began when Time Warner Cable made an iPad app available to its subscribers that would essentially allow for a live television stream on their iPad when they are in their homes. This would work differently from a streaming Internet service like Netflix or Hulu since it really just feeds into the live television that you already have and is area dependent. What this marks is a first for an iPad video app like this, which taps into a framework that is not normally considered ready for the ‚Äö√Ñ√∫pull‚Äö√Ñ√π media structure of mobile Internet devices.
This causes an inherent problem, as many of the channels were not particularly keen on having their content streamed to iPads through a third party company. This could lower their success on streaming services or even cut down their own attempts at creating a pay or subscription driven iPad app service. No matter what, it takes away the control that they have to structure a format for their content that is iPad or mobile specific. This is, however, not a clear violation as the Time Warner Cable iPad app really just extends an existing service to another device when they are in the home where the cable is hooked up.
Viacom led the pack against Time Warner, mainly making a claim that the mobile streaming rights have not been negotiated quite yet. More than this, when shows are streamed through the iPad they are not subject to Nielsen Ratings and so this could lower the perceived audience and affect ad sales.
The case as it stood would have set major precedence for the television industry. Time Warner Cable would have much more control over their distribution model upon a win, but if Viacom set things in their favor then we would see a whole host of renegotiations between distributors and content providers to compensate for these new device types. Now that they have left court you can expect two things to take place: Viacom to privately create a new agreement for streaming video and for Time Warner Cable to begin dominating because of its popular television streaming tools. This will lead to a complete change in the cable model, though now that it is done in private it may take a while before the new financial model is implemented as standard.