Originally Posted by AppleSauce007
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.
Actually, I doubt very much whether Apple had a deal with Time-Warner or any other MSO. The reason why is that the cable networks grant very limited web rights to the MSOs and the rights they do grant have to be used directly by them, for instance by offering VOD. They have almost no rights to grant access to another company who then resells the content again. The only content that could have been part of a Time-Warner deal was Time-Warner content, like HBO shows and even that would have been iffy, since Time-Warner spun off Time-Warner Cable into a separate company.
I really don't think Apple has a choice. They're going to have to deal with the cable networks directly or with the content owner (who in many cases is NOT the cable network). In many cases, the cable networks have limited rights as well. That's why every cable show isn't available VOD or on the web, or if it is, it's only available for short periods of time.
I have firsthand knowledge of this as I help develop rights management software that's used by almost all the major cable networks.
While the cable networks are looking for any additional fees they can get and therefore would support a deal with Apple and/or other such device makers, most of their income today is delivered by the MSOs. And while the MSOs haven't shown a lot of guts in negotiating with the cable and broadcast networks (and when they have, they've gotten screwed, like Time-Warner in the recent CBS negotiations), they can threaten to drop a cable network's offerings, especially if it's not "must have" channels. Obviously, a combined Comcast-Time Warner, which would reach 30% of national cable subscribers after dropping the 3 million they claim they'll give up, would have a lot of negotiating power and would do everything they can to stop an Apple-type deal from happening.
Personally, if Comcast gets this almost-monopoly, I think they should have to give up NBC and the cable networks. But I think they're going to get away with doing the deal by promising to drop the few million subscribers to keep them under the 30% hurdle.
As others have posted, this is certainly going to raise consumer prices in many markets (not that cable bills aren't constantly going up anyway). But the Government will permit this, but sue Apple over e-book pricing. Absurd.