Time Warner Cable to Bundle Slingbox Hardware for Top Subscribers
Time Warner Cable is set to bundle a Slingbox for those who subscribe to its $99-per-month Wideband Internet service, according to a New York Times report. The cable provider would basically subsidize the total cost of the $300 device in a move to avoid litigation with cable programmers who demand extra payments for live TV streams on anything other than your TV set.
A Slingbox made by Sling Media allows you to watch your home television from anywhere, and on a number of different devices. The $300 rebate is set to begin sometime in September and will only apply to customers of Time Warner Cable’s Wideband Internet service, which is meant to be faster (and more expensive) than traditional broadband.
It’s unclear how many people will be able to get the Slingbox rebate from Time Warner Cable, as the NYT reports mentions only an “undisclosed fraction” of subscribers actually pay for the upgraded service.
More Than a Good Deal
The Slingbox deal is not only a convenient for customers, but it’s also a stab at content providers such as Viacom (owner of channels like MTV and Nickelodeon), which sued Time Warner over "unlicensed distribution" of its content via an iPad app that allowed paying subscribers to watch several cable channels on their tablet at home.
Viacom and Time Warner Cable are currently at a stalemate and Viacom’s channels, including MTV and Comedy Central, are not available through the cable provider’s iPad app. Viacom also challenged Cablevision over its iPad app that replicated the entire available cable lineup, but the two parties settled that behind closed doors.