TV networks split on supporting Apple’s iPad

ABC was set to go for the launch of Apple’s iPad, having a fully functional app ready for new iPad owners to watch its programming. NBC, on the other hand, has no app at all, but does plan for limited streaming of shows by the end of April.

From to to Netflix, buyers of the iPad will soon be able to watch plenty of ad-supported video despite Apple’s decision to ban Flash, the dominant software for online video viewing, from the device.

Many websites raced to convert their video files from Flash to HTML5, a computing standard supported by Apple. But, during the first month after the launch, the iPad could not simulate a laptop or desktop computer’s full range of options for viewing video.

At first, CBS is streaming only one TV show, “Survivor,” so that it’s viewable on the iPad. The network said other TV shows would be made available for iPad viewing later.

Some of the hurdles are technical. Others are for business reasons. Some media companies want to encourage viewers to pay for television episodes and films through Apple’s iTunes store rather than streaming them free through a Web browser.

The Walt Disney Company, the owner of ABC, was iPad’s strongest supporter. The ABC app will soon stream about 20 series free and link to the iTunes store for paid downloads. Disney will release seven other apps for the device.

No Fox programming was available at the launch of iPad. A spokeswoman said the network would “continue to evaluate the platform.”