Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How to Watch Free TV Shows and Movies on Your iPad

The TV networks unhappy with Time Warner Cable have gotten their way, for now: The cable giant has taken down 11 cable channels from News Corp.*, Discovery and Viacom on its iPad app.

The app lets cable subscribers stream live TV to their tablets, but only within their homes, and while that sounds cool at first blush, it’s hard to see why it’s a) that useful or b) why the networks would care.

But the programmers argue that since Time Warner Cable’s carriage agreements don’t give it the right to stream programming to a mobile device–even one that doesn’t travel farther than the couch (or maybe the bathroom?)–the app is a no-go.

This is more or less parallel to the music labels’ (sotto voce) complaints about Amazon’s cloud music service: In both cases, the utility to the consumer is incremental. But the content owners don’t want to give up any new rights for free, period.

Meanwhile, as BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield reminds us, it’s increasingly easy to get all the TV and movies you want for free, whether or not the programmers sign off on it. In this case, he highlights, which appears to be a newish pirate site that works very nicely with Apple’s iOS system.

Note that “Jersey Shore,” one of the shows Greenfield pirates/demos in this clip, is from Viacom’s MTV–one of the channels that Time Warner Cable just pulled off its legal app.

*(News Corp. also owns this Web site).

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google