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Media giant Viacom has filed a suit against Cablevision today for allowing cable subscribers to stream Viacom content on Apple's iPad. "We have taken this action to protect our valuable content," Viacom said in a statement. Cablevision is one of many U.S. cable companies trying to offer its customers apps for streaming content such as The Daily Show or Jersey Shore directly on their iPads. But Viacom argues that the unauthorized distribution negatively impacts its ratings and advertising revenues. "We remain open to productive discussions, but we cannot wait indefinitely while our networks are being distributed without permission," the company said. The suit is similar to one filed against Time Warner Cable earlier this year (though both parties in that case have decided to halt legal proceedings). "Whatever goodwill exists between Viacom and Time Warner Cable over the issue is non-existent with Cablevision Systems Inc," notes Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times. "Time Warner Cable pulled Viacom's channels when the programmer raised concerns, and then the two companies exchanged suits. But Cablevision has disregarded Viacom's requests to have its channels removed from the iPad service." Expect to see more fights between programmers and cable operators in the future, as distributors seek to offer services on new platforms while "programmers want to be compensated more if their channels are going onto new platforms," writes Flint.

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