Hundreds of live channels come to iPhone, iPod

A Viacom lawsuit has done little to derail multiplatform ambitions at Cablevision, which announced Tuesday an extension of its controversial Optimum app to iPhone and iPod Touch.

Optimum previously allowed Cablevision subscribers to watch all of the TV channels it transmitted live through set-top boxes to just the iPad. Since launching four months ago, Optimum has been downloaded 200,000 times.

Viacom sued Cablevision over the app in June, claiming its carriage agreement with the cable operator didn’t grant rights to stream channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and BET to wireless devices. Viacom previously sued Time Warner Cable over a similar app, but the suit was tabled in June with both sides agreeing to a standstill that will take it out of court while they try to reach a settlement.

The new version of Optimum adds a remote-control functionality that allows viewers control of their televisions from three different devices, all of which can only utilize the app in the subscriber’s home.

Cablevision announced the upgraded app in tandem with its second-quarter earnings, which came in below analyst expectations of 40 cents per share. The company reported 31 cents per share, or $87.8 million in net income.

TW Cable has not extended its TWCable TV app beyond iPad.

Viacom declined comment.

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