Why Did 17 Channels Temporarily Disappear From TWC’s iPad App?

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Less than a week after launching an iPad app that allowed subscribers to watch 32 channels on their mobile device, Time Warner Cable is at the center of a strange story about the temporary disappearance of 17 of those channels.

Officially, TWC temporarily removed 17 channels on Wednesday because demand was overwhelming TWC’s servers – all channels returned this morning with TWC joking that they’d “made a run to the country store” – but analyst Richard Greenfield believes that there’s more going on than a simple supply/demand issue; he thinks that some of the networks may not be too happy about appearing on the service, going as far as to say that he “believe[s] cease and desist letters will be coming to TWC in the near-future – stay tuned.”

Certainly, that wouldn’t be too surprising; network chiefs have in the past made not only made comments about their reluctance to allow their content to be streamed by third parties without appropriate payment, but also tried to shut down similar services. Is it possible that TWC didn’t have permission from all of their partners before launching the app – and if so, does that mean the app will soon be going away?

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