Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 U.S. cable operator, isn’t a fancy company. Ever since its spin-off from Time Warner Inc it has focused on being a steady-as-she-goes friendly neighborhood telecommunications provider with video just being one of the services it carries through its pipes alongside Internet and voice.
Well, perhaps feeling a bit of cable envy as larger rival Comcast got all the press with its fancy digital businesses and fast growing cable networks — and well, NBC — Time Warner Cable decided to venture a little bit more into the 21st Century with its roll-out of a free iPad app yesterday. The app allowed iPad owners to view 30 channels in their homes, which was well received by most technology bloggers and deemed a success.
However, it just might have been too successful. The company said the app’s popularity ”unfortunately overwhelmed the system” meaning some customers could not download it Tuesday evening. To make matters worse Time Warner Cable had to “temporarily” reduce the number of channels to just 15 to ease strain on the authentication process used to verify the user as a paying cable subscriber.
Time Warner Cable President Rob Marcus apologized in a press statement. “While we anticipated that the app would be popular, the demand was overwhelming. We are sorry for any frustration and inconvenience our customers experienced.”
By Wednesday afternoon all 32 channels were back up after resolving the technical issue.