Viacom Inc., the parent of powerful cable networks MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is now fighting with two big cable operators over putting its content on tablet devices such as Apple's iPad.
Viacom, which is already in a legal battle with Time Warner Cable, on Thursday filed a similar suit against Cablevision Systems Corp. saying the cable company does not have the right to put its channels on the iPad. Both suits were filed in federal court in New York.
Such disputes are becoming common in the media industry. Distributors want to be able to offer their services on new platforms in an effort to fight cord-cutting by consumers, while programmers want to be compensated more if their channels are going onto new platforms.
Time Warner Cable and Cablevision launched their so-called iPad apps this year, and almost immediately several prominent programmers, including Viacom, cried foul. The distributors say their agreements with the programmers give them the rights to exploit new platforms.