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Comcast to purchase Time Warner Cable, future Apple TV partnership uncertain

post #1 of 91
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It was reported earlier on Wednesday that Apple is preparing to debut a new Apple TV platform in partnership with Time Warner Cable, but Comcast is now said to be finalizing a purchase of TWC that could affect continued negotiations.

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According to CNBC's David Faber, who was first to report on the supposed deal, Comcast is preparing an all stock buyout of Time Warner for $159 per share. An official announcement is expected for Thursday.

As noted by Barron's, TWC currently has 277.9 million shares outstanding, which would give the proposed deal a value of $45.2 billion. The publication also pointed out that the news, if true, officially ends speculation of a partial or complete buyout bid from cable giant Charter Communications.

Subsequent tweets from Faber said Comcast is willing to shed some three million subscribers to ease regulatory issues tied to the takeover. The Federal Communications Commission will likely scrutinize the tie-up considering the implications of a merger between the nation's top two cable providers, but the company is looking to avoid a consent decree, he said.

It is unclear what the shakeup could mean for Apple's TV ambitions, as Cupertino was rumored to be readying a new set-top platform in partnership with TWC. Rather than deal directly with content owners like ESPN and HBO, an agreement with a cable provider would streamline the process of bringing a totally new digital interface to the living room.

Apple has been in talks with TWC for some time now and some analysts believed the provider was Cupertino's best chance at an Apple TV partnership. Comcast, on the other hand, has been notoriously slow to warm to the idea of an Apple-branded set-top device and corresponding service.
post #2 of 91

Let me be the first to say:  "Re: Apple TV...Now What?"

post #3 of 91

Great. Comcast owns NBC and now Time Warner.

 

I guess that simplifies things for the DoJ when in ten years they sue Apple for monopolistic partnering with the only telecom in existence. Never mind that the only telecom in existence is inherently monopolistic; that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Apple is doing something that lets us take money from them.

 

Originally Posted by Frank DAgnese View Post
Let me be the first to say:  "Re: Apple TV...Now What?"

 

It proves wrong the stupid April-Christmas rumor, at least.

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post #4 of 91
Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).
post #5 of 91

Give me a break. I have no problem with a modest amount of consolidation, but I want access to competing tech equally. I can't get Verizon FIOS because of monopoly contracts by Comcast in Eastern WA, but they can continue to eat up their competition? Eff them.

 

So glad at least I have DISH or DirecTV and CenturyLink [who needs to make a FIOS option equivalent sooner rather than later].

post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).

 

All Cellular is hard-lined, in the end. The entire backhaul hard-line connects for redundancy and power.

post #7 of 91
Yeah, Comcast will do that. They f**k EVERYTHING up. I'm serious.

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post #8 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

All Cellular is hard-lined, in the end. The entire backhaul hard-line connects for redundancy and power.
I'm talking about in the house.
post #9 of 91
I would say that this strongly suggests that the talk of a partnership is totally bunk. This purchase deal would have been going for a while and Apple would likely know that it was in the works. So why would they going full guns with TWC only to have to start over if the purchase deal went through.
post #10 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

Give me a break. I have no problem with a modest amount of consolidation, but I want access to competing tech equally. 

 

True that. Although I'm more interested in cable internet than tv. 

post #11 of 91

There's no way Apple wouldn't have known this was in the works. 

post #12 of 91
Apple definitely knew about this. It's great for them but I'm not she how good it will be for the average consumer. We have Time Warner where I live and they are not very good compared to satellite. I've heard many, many bad things about Comcast being the worst provider out there.

My only hope is that this causes the satellite cos to partner with Apple as well. No way I'm going back to cable.

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post #13 of 91
I heard Comcast bought 30% of Netflix. Those b*stards won't go down without a fight. I really hope Apple has been taking all this time to deal directly with the individual networks. Pick a few big boys, get them on board for monthly or yearly subscription to the consumers. Then the rest will fold like a cheap suit. Directv and Comcast need to fail! It's survival of the fittest. The companies that continued to "dish" garbage hardware, gouging price packages of which contain 90% useless content, deserve to fail.
post #14 of 91

Netflix has House of Cards. Apple should dangle a bunch of money to the top show producers and just bypass these giant middlemen.

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post #15 of 91
Apple isn't going to win this fight. Start from scratch like FOX did in 1986 and produce original content.
post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

Netflix has House of Cards. Apple should dangle a bunch of money to the top show producers and just bypass these giant middlemen.

And orange is the new black. Great show there

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post #17 of 91

CNBC keeps on Bashing AAPL.  Is it because Comcast owns CNBC now and is scared of Apple entering content business leaving Comcast future in a big hole? :grumble: 

post #18 of 91
Lmmfao! On the AI app on this thread cable/dish is using appleADs to advertise.
post #19 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Great. Comcast owns NBC and now Time Warner.

I guess that simplifies things for the DoJ when in ten years they sue Apple for monopolistic partnering with the only telecom in existence. Never mind that the only telecom in existence is inherently monopolistic; that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Apple is doing something that lets us take money from them.

Unfortunately the government granted them the monopoly. Very hypocritical to sue a company for the very same thing you grant to another.
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"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
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post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

Netflix has House of Cards. Apple should dangle a bunch of money to the top show producers and just bypass these giant middlemen.

Great show, I think Robin Wright has gotten sexier with age. You're absolutely right though, there are probably dozens of great shows just waiting to be picked up by someone.
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post #21 of 91
Comcast is not really known as an innovator... Do they have a fiber transition plan ala FIOS or Google Fiber?
post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

Netflix has House of Cards. Apple should dangle a bunch of money to the top show producers and just bypass these giant middlemen.
Comcast owns NBC Universal. If the content owners were willing to play ball we'd have an updated Apple TV already. WSJ is reporting that Apple wanted to do an ala carte service where people could get programming via Apple TV and "cut the cord", but he media companies consistently pulled out of negotiations. The TV industry isn't in the same place the music industry was. They don't have to play ball with Apple.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579379611592863936?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304703804579379611592863936.html
post #23 of 91
Apple can easily buy Comcast. Hostile takeover all stock
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

If the content owners were willing to play ball we'd have an updated Apple TV already.

... an ala carte service where people could get programming via Apple TV and "cut the cord"...

The TV industry isn't in the same place the music industry was.

On the first two points: absolutely correct.

On the last? The music industry was pushed by rampant illegal downloads that destroyed CD sales, and with no online alternative, needed iTMS desperately to rescue them from file sharing (eg. Napster).

TV shows have gone in a similar direction, with quality programming torrented and streamed increasingly, but the cable companies money, advertising and better general knowledge of the internet have slowed progress in this area.

So far they have made the mistake of thinking their content is still being viewed via channels on cable/satellite TV boxes out of necessity rather than convenience.

Even if Apple are forced to start their subscription prices high, any agreements that can be made to make some money back from those that stream will become increasingly attractive, especially if linked to notions of in-series purchases of additional plays or DVD-like special features.

For the most part, this fits extremely well (anecdotally) with a target audience currently mistakenly considered as criminal with no want to provide monetary reward for entertainment. The market is definitely ripe.
post #25 of 91
So do none of the content producers or US networks have apps?

As I said I could use my iPad right now to bypass TV or airplay all TV because everything I get on my TV is available in Apps. Is that not the case in the US?
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post #26 of 91
OK. Comcast bought Time Warner for $45.2 Billion.
It would appear that Comcast will now have 2 sets of content contracts.
Apple may have made a deal for the TimeWarner contracts.

This may explain the delay in availability of the content to allow Comcast to close the deal and integrate TWC into its set of contracts.

If the contracts are not transferrable then they can not be transferred to Comcast which does not need them anyway. If the contracts are transferrable them perhaps Apple could buy them outright and be done.

Time will tell.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by weironfire View Post

I really hope Apple has been taking all this time to deal directly with the individual networks. Pick a few big boys, get them on board for monthly or yearly subscription to the consumers. Then the rest will fold like a cheap suit. Directv and Comcast need to fail!

 

The bigger issue and the reason why the government needs to step in and stop this merger, is that once this happens, Comcast will have exponentially more control over the networks. If a network doesn't agree to their terms, they threaten to drop the network. We see this happens all the time already, imagine what it would be like after this merger?

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #28 of 91
I recently quit Comcast for U-Verse. Comcast said they compete on quality, not price. The quality was the issue you morons!
post #29 of 91
I don't get why AT&T got shut down on their T-Mobile purchase but Comcast can just do whatever they want.
post #30 of 91

The government made the right decision in not allowing AT&T to buy T-mobile and look at what happened to the cell phone industry. The majority have separated phone subsidies from their plan cost and competition is leading to good changes for the consumers.

 

How in the world could the FCC every allow this merger? The cable industry doesn't have enough competition as it is, and now they are going to let the #1 and #2 merged because the #1 says it will let 3 million customers go. That is the most asinine thing that I have ever heard. Let them go where? Let them do what? And then what is to stop them from just reacquiring those same three million customers again over the next handful of years through other means? This is stupid and in no way good for any consumer at all.

post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).

It makes sense to me.  What has failed internet TV players in the past hasn't been the hardware or features, it's been the content.  Apple TV, Roku, and others have gone as far as they can with the content they have.

 

The only thing that's going to REALLY take off is a device that has ALL of the channels that people want, including the latest shows and live TV.  Short of Apple striking deals with 60 different networks and cable channels, which I don't think will happen anytime soon, striking a deal with a big cable company gets you the content.  This is a big first step to show what is possible.  Maybe then after a few years and enough arm twisting, the cable company can be bypassed.

post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

I don't get why AT&T got shut down on their T-Mobile purchase but Comcast can just do whatever they want.

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post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I would say that this strongly suggests that the talk of a partnership is totally bunk. This purchase deal would have been going for a while and Apple would likely know that it was in the works. So why would they going full guns with TWC only to have to start over if the purchase deal went through.

I agree. Perhaps either the rumor was bunk all along ... or they are taking to them in anticipation, i.e. they are talking to Comcast too?

On a side note regarding customer service from these giants: This is an odd household, we have contracts with three of the big guys. FiOS for which I pay a premium for a high upload and download speed as well as Comcast Xfinity for HD TV only, this is because Comcast is provided in our community as part of the HOA services and also AT&T for all cellular services on iPhones and iPads and we are grandfathered in for unlimited data. Dealing with either Comcast or Verizon is pretty horrible. On the other hand AT&T these days seem to have really got their act together and are amazing whenever we have an issue with iPhones or iPads.
Edited by digitalclips - 2/13/14 at 6:02am
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post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

The government made the right decision in not allowing AT&T to buy T-mobile and look at what happened to the cell phone industry. The majority have separated phone subsidies from their plan cost and competition is leading to good changes for the consumers.

How in the world could the FCC every allow this merger? The cable industry doesn't have enough competition as it is, and now they are going to let the #1 and #2 merged because the #1 says it will let 3 million customers go. That is the most asinine thing that I have ever heard. Let them go where? Let them do what? And then what is to stop them from just reacquiring those same three million customers again over the next handful of years through other means? This is stupid and in no way good for any consumer at all.

I hate to tell you, but it is by the hand of government (and ours is a corporatist government) that monopolies are created, not by competition. Frankly, AT&T should've gobbled up T-mobile, because they will not survive much longer unless they merge with another company. They are giving up great deals for consumers right now to inflate their growth numbers to make them a more attractive buyout, not because they are already doing well. Government should stand down and get out of the protectionism racket and let real competition winnow out the weak companies and allow market forces to play out. When companies become too big and unresponsive, people act by seeking alternatives and pouring their money into smaller, more responsive start ups. It's the story of IBM and Apple all over. Let people vote with their wallets.

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post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Great. Comcast owns NBC and now Time Warner.

 

 

Time Warner Cable is not the same company as Time Warner Media/telecom/CNN and so forth.  They spun off the cable company years ago. But otherwise I agree, this can't be  good for the general state of telecom in the U.S.  Now, if they want to become a public utility, submit to rate regulation, and spin off their content arm NBC Universal, maybe.  But somehow I don't see the Roberts family going for that. FCC *could* make a statement, but I would be surprised to see a fundamental change.  Too bad.

post #36 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post

I don't get why AT&T got shut down on their T-Mobile purchase but Comcast can just do whatever they want.

It still needs approval by the pertinent government agency. It isn't a done deal by far.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #37 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I hate to tell you, but it is by the hand of government (and ours is a corporatist government) that monopolies are created, not by competition. Frankly, AT&T should've gobbled up T-mobile, because they will not survive much longer unless they merge with another company. They are giving up great deals for consumers right now to inflate their growth numbers to make them a more attractive buyout, not because they are already doing well. Government should stand down and get out of the protectionism racket and let real competition winnow out the weak companies and allow market forces to play out. When companies become too big and unresponsive, people act by seeking alternatives and pouring their money into smaller, more responsive start ups. It's the story of IBM and Apple all over. Let people vote with their wallets.

I stress this is NOT a political comment so please no political retorts: IMHO there is a need for a little of both freedom and some regulations, and I admit it is hard to get the balance right. If 'governments' i.e. we the people, 'get out of the way' entirely with no rules or protection from monopolies and a conglomerate manages to obtain a total monopoly, how do we vote with our wallets then? ... This assuming the product is a necessity, otherwise the answer is obvious. It is not as if most corporate entities give a damn about we the people and our well-being.
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post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

How in the world could the FCC every allow this merger?

They haven't, and my guess is that they won't.
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post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I stress this is NOT a political comment so please no political retorts: IMHO there is a need for a little of both freedom and some regulations, and I admit it is hard to get the balance right. If 'governments' i.e. we the people, 'get out of the way' entirely with no rules or protection from monopolies and a conglomerate manages to obtain a total monopoly, how do we vote with our wallets then? ... This assuming the product is a necessity, otherwise the answer is obvious. It is not as if most corporate entities give a damn about we the people and our well-being.

A corporation cares about profitability. A well-run corporation listens to their customers because happy customers make for greater long-term profitability. A monopoly cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires the protection of law to suppress competition. Without external forces preventing competition, monopoly positions simply cannot last.

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post #40 of 91

Apple should bid for TWC.

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