News Corp. Joins Fight Against Time Warner Cable's Controversial iPad App

The media company reported sent a letter to the cable operator demanding that it stop streaming its channels on the iPad.

Add News Corp. to the list of media companies at odds with Time Warner Cable over its controversial new iPad app.

The app, which crashed on its first day amid high consumer demand, allows consumers to watch live TV on their iPads. It has drawn fire from cable network owners who claim TWC does not have the right to stream their channels under existing deals.

Among those who reportedly have claimed TWC is in violation of existing deals are Scripps Networks, whose Food Network is part of the app's channel lineup; MTV owner Viacom; and Discovery Communications.

Now News Corp., which owns cable networks including FX, has sent a letter to TWC demanding that it stop streaming its channels on the iPad, reps from both companies told the Los Angeles Times.

That follows on the heels of Scripps stating it had "not granted iPad video streaming rights to any distributor" and that it is addressing "any misunderstandings."

A top TWC executive last week said her company is "well within our rights" to stream live TV channels to iPads in subscribers' homes via the app and is planning to add all networks available on TWC to the app's channel lineup.

"We don't define in our contracts what a viewing device is, because technology has always been evolving," Melinda Witmer, the cable giant's chief programming officer, told the Wall Street Journal. "I don't know what a TV is anymore. It's kind of an anachronistic term."

On Monday, TWC launched a public ad campaign promoting "more freedom to watch on more screens," as noted by the New York Times. It also asks, "Why do some TV networks want to take it away?"

TWC and other pay TV operators are looking to offer new tech solutions as Internet-connected TV sets, tablet computers and other new devices allow consumers to watch video content without pay TV subscriptions, leading to cord cutting fears.