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Viacom and Time Warner trade blows over iPad dispute

April 7, 2011 |  1:47 pm

Just moments after Time Warner Cable asked a federal judge to declare that the company had the legal rights to stream Viacom-owned cable networks to Apple's iPad for its subscribers, Viacom Inc. asked the same court to declare it is right to not allow its channels to be streamed.

In its filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Viacom asked for an injunction prohibiting Time Warner Cable from trying to stream its channels to Apple's iPad.

The two comanies have been battling for weeks, since Time Warner Cable launched its new iPad streaming service for its cable subscribers. Last week, Time Warner Cable pulled a dozen channels from the service, including Viacom's MTV and Comedy Central.

But Thursday, Time Warner Cable asked the federal court for a declaratory ruling that it was within its contractual rights to stream the Viacom channels.

In a statement, Viacom said Time Warner Cable "blatantly grabbed the rights" to stream its channels without permission.

Viacom suggested this could all go away if Time Warner Cable were willing to pay for the rights to stream its channels.

"With $5.2 billion in cash from operations last year, Time Warner Cable can certainly afford to provide our programming through this new broadband service without passing along any additional costs to its customers," Viacom said.

Viacom has also voiced concerns about a similar iPad app from Cablevision Systems, but as yet has not taken any legal action.

-- Joe Flint


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