Viacom targets another cable company in war against the inevitable

Broadcaster sues Cablevision Systems for streaming programs to iPads

Media conglomerate Viacom on Thursday filed a lawsuit in Manhattan to stop Cablevision Systems from streaming its programs to the iPad tablet and other things that aren't televisions.

Viacom initiated similar legal proceedings against cable giant Time Warner in early April.

In fact, according to Reuters, the action against Cablevision comes "one day after court documents showed that Cablevision's larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc and Viacom are trying to settle a similar dispute, and have put related lawsuits on hold while they try."

Looks like Viacom's lawyers get bored quickly.

Cablevision launched an iPad app on April 2 that allows programs to be viewed on the Apple tablet, which Viacom claims violates the contract between it and the cable provider.

Viacom made the identical argument when it sued Time Warner in April.

For its part, Cablevision argues that its Optimum App "falls within our existing cable television licensing agreements with programmers, including Viacom," Reuters reports.

Like the music companies before it, Viacom wants to prevent technology from upsetting the status quo. Or maybe it just wants to use litigation to negotiate more favorable terms.

But digital media convergence can't be stopped. Indeed, it's already here. Best to figure out how to work within the new reality than try to un-ring the bell. It won't work.

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