Comcast's live TV iPad app is running into resistance from cable networks

TV Everywhere is looking like it's getting stuck at home. Comcast's Xfinity TV app, which the cable giant promised would bring live programming and video on-demand choices to iPads and Android tablets later this year, has run afoul of cable networks that don't think Comcast has the right to deliver its shows to these new devices.

TV Everywhere is looking like it's getting stuck at home. Comcast's Xfinity TV app, which the cable giant promised would bring live programming and video on-demand choices to iPads and Android tablets later this year, has run afoul of cable networks that don't think Comcast has the right to deliver its shows to these new devices.

Mediaweek reports that only premium movie channels like Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz have signed on with Comcast for this new endeavor, with Turner Broadcasting likely to join in as well. (It was the CEO of Time Warner, Turner's parent company, that first promoted the idea of TV Everywhere.) Other networks say Comcast doesn't have the legal means to distribute their programming:

“It’s very simple. Distribution via any sort of third-party app is not covered in our carriage deals with Comcast,” said one affiliate chief. “We’re not going to sit on our hands if they choose to ignore that fact.”

The result could be a partially crippled app that only presents limited broadcasts outside the subscriber's home, when that feature is eventually rolled out. Other TV providers have had more luck with shuttling video to apps as long as the user stays in his or her home, which is how Comcast will start off with the app. Cablevision's app will debut soon with at-home-only viewing, and Dish Network only lets subscribers watch content from its DVR boxes on Sling-based mobile apps inside the home as well.

A network source Mediaweek interviewed seemed to approve of the steps Cablevision is taking to secure approval from its broadcast partners -- and that it isn't planning to let subscribers view their content outside the home. The implication is that Comcast hasn't started off as accommodating, and that could keep the Xfinity TV app from being all that we would hope it could be.

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