Viacom Sues Cablevision in Battle to Control TV Streaming

In its latest effort to control how its programming appears on mobile devices, Viacom (NYSE:VIA) filed a suit on Thursday against Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) to try and stop the streaming of live TV channels to Apples (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.

The suit adds to a wider battle between media companies and cable operators as TV programs and movies continue to become more readily available over the Internet and on smartphones.

As cable operators face rising competition from streaming companies such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), they are trying to make movies and shows more available by allowing them to stream to mobile devices. But media companies are demanding more money for the extra usage.

Viacom is seeking an injunction to stop Cablevision from streaming its channels. The provider allows customers to watch live all Viacom channels, including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV, as long as the iPad is being operated within the home.

While Viacom has agreements with Cablevision to carry its networks in some three million customer homes, the media company argues the deals are intended for televisions only, not through live feeds on devices.

Cablevision, one-the-other-hand, claims it needs no additional rights to stream the channels to the app, which has been free to video subscribers since its launch in April.

On Friday, UBS (NYSE:UBS) cut Viacom's price target to $55 from $56.