Bloomberg News

Viacom, Time Warner Cable Tell Judge They’re Seeking Settlement

June 23, 2011

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Viacom Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. told a judge that they’re trying to settle litigation over broadcast rights on portable electronic devices including Apple Inc.’s iPad.

The two companies, which sued each other in Manhattan federal court in April, told U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand that they’ve reached a so-called standstill agreement “in an attempt to resolve this and other litigation and potential litigation.” Their lawsuits are now on hold, they said in court papers filed yesterday.

In its suit, New York-based Time Warner Cable, the second- largest cable television operator in the U.S., sought a ruling that its contract with Viacom allows it to deliver Viacom’s programming to customers’ iPads and other devices. Time Warner Cable, also based in New York, provides video, high-speed data and telephone services to more than 14 million subscribers, according to its website.

In a separate suit, Viacom asked for damages and an order blocking Time Warner Cable from distributing its programming, including Black Entertainment Television, Comedy Central, CMT, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1, via broadband without its permission.

Time Warner Cable released a computer application for the iPad on March 15 that allows customers to stream Viacom’s copyrighted entertainment programs directly to iPad tablets.

Viacom spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew declined to comment on the status of negotiations between the companies. Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Maureen Huff also declined to comment.

The cases are Time Warner Cable Inc. v. Viacom International, 11-cv-002376, and Viacom International Inc. v. Time Warner Cable Inc., 11-cv-02387, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--With assistance from Patricia Hurtado in Manhattan federal court. Editor: Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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