MSO follows Time Warner Cable to iPad

Cablevision has become the second cable operator to allow its subscribers to stream live channels via an iPad app, which Apple approved for its App Store on Saturday morning.

The Long Island, N.Y.-based MSO had already indicated that it would offer a service similar to Time Warner Cable, which has been sparring with content companies for weeks since launching its own app.

Cablevision’s version of the app offers both hundreds of live channels as well as access to VOD offerings. TWC currently makes 42 channels available, although it pulled 12 channels on Thursday from Discovery Networks, Viacom and Fox Cable Networks, all of whom issued cease-and-desist orders.

As of Saturday, no content company has spoken out against Cablevision, which kept a dialogue going with its programming partners right up until the release of its app. Time Warner Cable had ceased its communication with channel owners.

Cablevision said Thursday that the app was submitted for approval to Apple, which took two weeks to make it available. Time Warner Cable’s app was also under consideration at Apple for two weeks before it went public, according to a TWC spokesman.

Even as TWC drew increasing flak for its app, Cablevision never wavered from chief operating officer Tom Rutledge’s declaration that an app would be released by the end of the first quarter.

“This is the future of advanced digital cable televisions served with virtual set-top boxes, and just one of many digital displays we are going to be serving through a variety of applications,” Rutledge said in a statement Cablevision issued Saturday.

For its part, TWC stepped up its marketing campaign for its iPad app over the weekend, advertising via full-page ad in select newspapers including The Los Angeles Times, “The future of television is in your hands.” The MSO has already launched a website defending its iPad decision, at iwantmytwcabletvapp.com.

Time Warner Cable’s stance sure hasn’t hurt it on Wall Street; the stock close Friday above $72, marking a 52-week high.

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