* Viacom says content cannot be streamed on iPads
* Cablevision said streaming is authorized
* Cablevision launched iPad application in April
* Shares of Cablevision, Viacom fall
(Adds Cablevision comment, updates shares)
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, June 23 Viacom Inc VIAb.N VIA.N
sued Cablevision Systems Corp CVC.N to halt what it called
the unauthorized streaming of its programming on devices such
as Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal
court, one day after court documents showed that Cablevision's
larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc TWC.N and Viacom are
trying to settle a similar dispute, and have put related
lawsuits on hold while they try. [ID:nN1E75L1YD]
Viacom said Cablevision's April 2 launch of Optimum App, a
computer application to allow streaming of television programs
through a cable modem to iPad tablets, violates its agreement
to distribute Viacom programming only on cable TV systems.
The popularity of mobile devices such as iPads has caused
friction between content providers and cable companies such as
Viacom over whether various means of distribution violate
contractual or trademark rights. [ID:nN07277276]
Viacom's lawsuit seeks a halt to Cablevision's alleged
improper streaming, $2 million for each trademark violation,
compensatory and punitive damages, and other remedies.
Jim Maiella, a Cablevision spokesman, said the Optimum App
"falls within our existing cable television licensing
agreements with programmers, including Viacom."
Cablevision is based in Bethpage, New York, and has about
3.7 million customers, a regulatory filing shows. Time Warner
Cable has about 14.5 million customers, another filing shows.
Viacom, whose chief executive is Philippe Dauman and
executive chairman is Sumner Redstone, is based in New York.
Its channels include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Black Entertainment
Television, Comedy Central and Country Music Television.
Cablevision also owns properties such as the Long Island,
New York, newspaper Newsday. Its chief executive, James Dolan,
is also executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Co MSG.O,
which controls the New York Rangers hockey team, New York
Knicks basketball team and Radio City Music Hall.
In afternoon trading, Cablevision shares were down 84
cents, or 2.4 percent, at $34.52, while Viacom's Class B shares
were down 91 cents, or 1.9 percent, at $47.74.
The case is Viacom International Inc et al v. Cablevision
Systems Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of
New York, No. 11-04265.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn,
Matthew Lewis, Dave Zimmerman)