TV Networks Upset Over Comcast App

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You’d think that Comcast would’ve learned from Google’s mistakes, but apparently not. The cable company’s new Xfinity TV app for the iPad is currently under fire from broadcasters and content providers unhappy with an app that streams their programs live or on-demand without their permission.

According to Mediaweek, a presentation of the new app at last week’s Annual Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference has prompted rights holders to calmly remind Comcast that they haven’t given permission for their content to appear through the app, with one anonymous source saying “It’s very simple. Distribution via any sort of third-party app is not covered in our carriage deals with Comcast. We’re not going to sit on our hands if they choose to ignore that fact.”

So far, only HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax have signed on to the new app, with Comcast reporting that Turner Broadcasting will be involved in an unspecified capacity as well. Whether this means that Xfinity will become a boutique app favored for its pay-cable access, or Comcast will see the light and pay CBS et al for their programming, remains to be seen, but with one network head telling the trade paper “We’ve never been in the business of handing over our rights… You let our proprietary content scatter to the four winds and you’re eating into our own digital platforms. That’s not going to happen,” something tells me that it’s not going to be an easy fix.

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