Still no surprises here… Shortly after Cablevision announced their intentions to roll out a network DVR, studios and networks filed suit to block the service from ever seeing the light of day. While Cablevision begged for mercy and filed a countersuit, additional plaintiffs joined the fray. So where do things stand now? Cablevision has agreed to put the network DVR on hold until October when everyone gathers in court. As I wrote in March, the sticking point here is whether or not a network DVR constitutes “on demand” retransmission which would require additional licensing agreements and fees. A networked DVR service makes a lot of sense, but it will be buried… possibly before it gets to court.
Reuters says: Cablevision said in March it would launch a service later this year that allows customers to record and store programs on Cablevision’s network servers rather than on hard drives that are part of set top-boxes like those made by TiVo Inc. and others. The company said it met with lawyers for Hollywood studios and television network plaintiffs in court on Wednesday and agreed to an expedited schedule of legal actions that will allow a hearing to proceed by the end of October.