Network Groups Warn Comcast about Streaming Live Video Content to iPads

Network Groups Warn Comcast about Streaming Live Video Content to iPads

2/10/2011

The plan of Comcast to stream live video content to iPads, as well as other tablet devices, brought forth an outbreak of legal correspondence last week. The correspondence came from a number of cable network groups who made it clear that they have not signified their agreement on any such arrangement.

Although the initial outburst only consisted of warning shots, observers believed that this may be the start of a bloody war between operators and rights holders. If the industry has been indifferent about the intentions of Comcast for some time, the presentation last January 5 of the Xfinity TV app put a different spin on things.

As one affiliate chief said, “It’s very simple. Distribution via any sort of third-party application is not covered in our carriage deals with Comcast.” The official also warned, “We’re not going to sit on our hands if they choose to ignore that fact.”

Xfinity TV app was introduced to the public during the Citi’s 21st Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference held in Scottsdale, Arizona. No less than the chairman and CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts, unveiled Xfinity TV app version 2.0, which allows subscribers to watch 3,000 hours of VOD programming on their tablets.

It was also revealed that live streaming functionality is currently being developed. All these features, including the inherent mobility of the medium, have video content proprietors gnashing their teeth.

Comcast assures that its authorization software application adequately protects the rights holder from content piracy or other types of villainous behaviours. In the case of live content, Comcast said that for the time being, it would be relegated to the home.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com