Originally Posted by lkrupp
"but access will likely be for existing cable subscribers only."
Doesn't look like cable cutting to me. You have to be a Time Warner subscriber to get the services? What's the difference between watching on your Apple TV vs watching on your cable box? Shouldn't companies like Apple be trying to deal directly with the content providers like Syfy so I can watch Warehouse 13 on my ATV without having cable or satellite service?
In a perfect world, yes, but the current cable TV market, although declining, is geometrically larger than the market of those who would watch TV via an Apple or Roku box, etc.. It's a big advantage for the cable networks to deal with the MSOs (like Time-Warner, Verizon FIOS, Comcast, etc.) because they are able to force them into bundle deals and because for many channels, they get paid by the cable subscriber, not just by who's actually watching the channel. I can't see Apple following that model and I suspect Apple would be completely unwilling to pay what the MSOs pay because Apple would not want to be in the position of trying to charge $50 to $80 a month for a "cable" subscription the way the MSOs do.
And in spite of lousy cable companies, watching a show over cable is still more reliable than streaming it over the web.
The MSOs probably have "most favored nation" contracts with the cable networks. And Apple must be having problems dealing with the cable networks directly, because there's not actually that many: Discovery, AMC, Turner, Viacom, Lifetime and the Comcast/Universal/NBC owned networks being the largest of the basic channels with HBO (Time Warner), Showtime (Viacom) and Starz among the pay channels. But Apple working with Time Warner does confuse me a bit because if it's more than existing Time Warner customers being able to use an Apple box instead of a cable box then I don't see how TW benefits if they're giving away a cut of the action.
It seems to me that the cable networks could deal with Apple if they treated them exactly like any other MSO. But if they treat them differently (which they probably can't do due to the "most favored nation" contracts anyway), then it seems to me that there's going to be a future of even more aggressive negotiations between MSOs and the cable networks in the future, which will lead to the MSOs dropping channels and/or fighting the bundle deals.