Time Warner Cable's New Live TV iPad App Under Fire From U.S. Cable Networks

NEW YORK --U.S. cable networks want to pull the plug on Time Warner Cable's (TWC) new iPad app for watching live TV, the New York Post reported Thursday.

A number of cable content providers were crying foul over the recently released app, saying TWC does not have the right to stream their programming under the terms of their existing contracts.

Viacom and Discovery Communications were among those that believe they should be paid extra for the streaming rights to their channels.

The New York-based cable operator, however, contended its agreements with programmers gave it the right to distribute the content on any screen inside a customer's home -- iPads included.

Industry insiders were predicting a flurry of cease and desist letters and potential lawsuits.

"Our agreement doesn't cover tablet distribution," said one cable programming executive, who said the two sides were trying to resolve the issue. "There are a lot of phone calls right now."

The app, which allows Time Warner Cable customers to watch 32 cable networks, including Viacom's MTV and Discovery's Animal Planet, quickly became the most downloaded free app on Apple's App Store on Tuesday. It crashed its first night of release due to overwhelming demand.

The firm's "TV Everywhere" app was available to customers when they connect to the web using TWC's high-speed internet service.

Comcast said it would make its "Xfinity TV" app available later this year.

Both companies ran into static over distribution rights after the iPad was launched last April. Most programming contracts were inked before tablets existed.