iPad Sparks TV War

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Don’t expect Comcast and Cablevision to sit back and let Hulu and Netflix dominate the TV apps available for the iPad nor the wave of tablets due this year. Seven of the top 10 subscription TV companies are now racing to deliver TV shows and movies to the tablet PC.

The iPad is proving a popular TV viewing device and also a convenient second screen for scrolling through programming guides (see video below) which pay TV companies are looking to exploit.

Comcast, DirecTV, TimeWarner Cable, Dish Network as well as Verizon Communications and Cablevision are planning apps for free or for a small surcharge for existing subscribers, said The Wall Street Journal.

Comcast is testing a free iPad app that may be released by the end of the year. It would let current subscribers watch (and search for) some TV shows on a portable device.

Verizon is planning an app for renting movies on Android based devices for the fall. It will be offered first to its 3.2 million Fios TV subscribers and then to all users.
Time Warner Cable said it is planning an iPad app that permits its subscribers to view TV shows over WiFi in the near future. And Dish Network plans to extend its service to iPads and Android tablets this fall via Slingbox devices.

Cablevision is conducting trials that let people watch video on iPads and other devices (provided they are in their home). And DirecTV plans to offer National Football League games via an iPad this season for an extra $50 for its $300 “Sunday Ticket” subscribers. More shows should be offered on tablets within the year, it said.

Also Motorola is said to be developing an Android tablet to tie into Verizon’s Fios service.

In July, Hulu began offering an app for iPhones, iPads, iPad touch models and Samsung Internet-ready TVs.

Video: Time Warner via CNET

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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