LOS ANGELES (AP) — Time Warner Cable Inc. said Friday that it has made live local TV station signals available on its TWC TV app in Los Angeles and San Diego, taking one further step toward fulfilling the industry's promise of making TV programming available on multiple devices.
The signals only work for TV subscribers who are also Time Warner Cable Internet customers and are on their home Wi-Fi network. They must live in an area that runs from Ventura on the coast to San Bernardino inland and south through San Diego.
The addition of the local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates, among about 50 other stations, rounds out a lineup of more than 100 live TV channels that can be watched on smartphones, computers, tablets, Roku streaming devices, Samsung smart TVs or Xbox 360 consoles.
The move is part of a four-year-old industry initiative called "TV Everywhere," which is meant to enhance the benefits of a pay TV subscription and dissuade customers from dropping service in favor of video streaming services like Netflix and free TV that can be accessed with an antenna.
The company has said that it wants to enable viewing of its TV programming on whatever devices its customers choose, partly on the hope that it can one day save costs on maintaining its fleet of set-top boxes.
Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable TV provider, launched live local TV station signals on its app in New York in March 2012 and in Kansas City in April.
The major cable and satellite TV companies offer a wide range of content through apps, but it's mainly on-demand reruns so subscribers to catch up on episodes of shows like "The Walking Dead."
TV providers and network operators have been slow to offer the same access to live TV programming, mainly because mobile viewing has not been counted in audience ratings by The Nielsen Co. The ratings agency plans to launch mobile measurement next fall.
"The big hang-up for the networks is measurement," said Bill Niemeyer, a senior analyst with research firm The Diffusion Group. "They get paid based on who's watching, and if somebody's watching the live linear broadcast on a device that isn't getting measured, it's like it's not happening and they're not getting paid."