Time Warner Cable said that its Internet subscribers are eligible to receive a full $300 rebate on the purchase of Slingbox, a set-top box that allows users to watch their cable programming from a vacation or mobile home.
The New York Times says this development is the latest skirmish in a battle between cable companies and broadcasters over whether Internet connectivity or programming is the key component of the business. Cable programmers like Viacom claim that Time Warner should pay them for the right to distribute their content to additional screens in other locations. Time Warner argues that its existing contracts cover all of the screens in a subscriber’s home.
The two companies are currently in litigation over Time Warner’s iPad app that allows users to watch programming on a device.
“Both sides see their own future as being up for grabs,” Dan Cryan, senior broadband analyst for IHS Screen Digest, told the Times.