11.10 Europe/London, August 26, 2011 By Robert Briel
Time Warner Cable might have found a way to circumvent the problems it faces when introducing TV Everywhere streaming services to its subscribers. The cabler is now giving away free Slingboxes to its top-tier $99 (€68.7) a month broadband subscribers.
Slingbox makes it possible for users to watch any channel or even any recorded programme on their PVR they could watch at home from anywhere that has an internet-connected screen, both in and outside the house. This includes laptops, PCs, mobile phones and tablets, as long as there is an internet connection and the appropriate Slingbox software available.
At the moment, Time Warner Cable is involved in a lawsuit from Viacom over the introduction of an iPad App, which allows streaming channels to the tablet. According to Viacom, TWC has no right to do this under its current distribution contract with the content provider.
Just recently, Viacom and US cablers Cablevision announced the agreed on an iPad streaming distribution agreement without issuing any financial details of the deal.
Cable operator argue that no additional remuneration is needed for streaming linear channels to mobile devices. They claim that tablets and smart phones are acting as TV sets and distribution to these is included in the existing distribution agreements with the broadcasters.