Time Warner would give up user interface control to an Apple cable box

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
An executive with Time Warner has indicated that his company would give up control of the user interface of its services to Apple in order to broker a deal.

Rob Marcus, chief operating officer with Time Warner, said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference that his company has spoken with Apple about possible agreements, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apple has reportedly been interested in providing or controlling the cable operator's user interface in a push to have a greater presence in the living room.

Marcus said to achieve its goals, Time Warner may consider "giving up control of the interface" to "maximize the capabilities" and "give Time Warner Cable customers the best possible experience."

If Time Warner were to relinquish control, Marcus said the cable operator would need to ensure that customers know its TV services are being provided by Time Warner Cable and not any third parties. While he said Time Warner would give up user interface control, the company will not "give up the customer relationship."

The comments come after a number of reports have indicated that Apple has expressed interest in building a set-top cable box. Such a device is not expected to hit the market anytime soon, if at all, because of stalled talks with media companies and cable providers.

>Apple TV


But the comments from Marcus suggest that Time Warner is not one of the media companies allegedly standing in the way of Apple's plans to have a greater presence in the living room.

Apple is said to have had discussions with major cable operators to let consumers use a branded set-top box to view both live television and Internet-based content. Apple is rumored to have proposed an advanced cloud-based video recording service that some said would blur the line between live and on-demand content.

Apple was said to have been particularly interested in storing recorded content in the cloud, which would allow users to start any show at any time from a number of devices beyond their living room television set.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Now there is a sensible man!

    edit: I'm not sure how he sees it working would be acceptable to Apple but at least he sees the value of Apple's interface. Hopefully they can work something out and move forward.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Sounds like a reasonable possibility. Essentially an Apple TV with cable tuner inside that is customized for each Cable company but which still allows access to the Apple store for apps. I could see the value of that.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Hhhmmmmm it can work of you payed for apple content with iTunes on the box and for the cable content separately..
  • Reply 4 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,892member
    Customer relationship - come on, you guys have monopolies not relationships.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Off topic ... anyone heard what time iOS 6 is expected to be released?
  • Reply 6 of 36


    Steve Jobs would have finished this negotiation by now,


     


    and if not by now,


     


    100% on Apple's terms, regarding the interface/end-user experience.


     


    This could be the beginning of TV a-la-cart.

     

  • Reply 7 of 36

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Off topic ... anyone heard what time iOS 6 is expected to be released?


     


    ~ 1:00PM EST

  • Reply 8 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    BuffyzDead wrote: »
    ~ 1:00PM EST

    Thanks!
  • Reply 9 of 36
    This sounds promising, but wouldn't there be a potential conflict over which company would sell/rent supplemental content to the consumer? i.e., iTunes vs. Time Warner PPV.
  • Reply 10 of 36

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Customer relationship - come on, you guys have monopolies not relationships.


     


    " And we'd like to keep it that way..."

  • Reply 11 of 36

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    Off topic ... anyone heard what time iOS 6 is expected to be released?


     


     


    I believe 1PM EST.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    Monopoly is right. I'd LOVE TV a la cart . Why would I want to pay for all the garbage channels when all I want is ~10 channels tops and to get them normally I'd have to shell out for the premium "package" from a cable company... that's the main reason I don't by cable now a days, it's just a scam at this point and Im not willing to pay so much for all that I don't use (a lot of my friends feel the same way). i don't need 10 ESPNs or 5 different home shopping networks. I would however pay $2 a month for channels like comedy central and maybe $4 a month for premium like HBO - but I better be able to have access on my laptop and TV and be able to review shows that already aired (kind of like HBO does for Game of Thrones). Hey, here's hoping!
  • Reply 13 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    freediverx wrote: »

    I believe 1PM EST.

    Thanks ... ready and waiting /grin
  • Reply 14 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    freediverx wrote: »
    This sounds promising, but wouldn't there be a potential conflict over which company would sell/rent supplemental content to the consumer? i.e., iTunes vs. Time Warner PPV.

    Yes, but I don't think it's insurmountable. Apple is driven by hardware sales. The ability to sell millions of set top boxes which connect to the Apple Store for application purchases and perhaps iTunes for music would be plenty of incentive for Apple to move on this - even if Time Warner gets the PPV sales. Or maybe Apple would take a percentage just like they do on iTunes or Apple Store. Either way, I don't see it as a deal-breaker.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    I want a device where I can choose the content - whether it be subscribing to a network, a specific channel, or an individual TV series. Preferably separate from my TV (like an Apple TV) so if it breaks, I can just replace it.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    jragosta wrote: »
    Yes, but I don't think it's insurmountable. Apple is driven by hardware sales. The ability to sell millions of set top boxes which connect to the Apple Store for application purchases and perhaps iTunes for music would be plenty of incentive for Apple to move on this - even if Time Warner gets the PPV sales. Or maybe Apple would take a percentage just like they do on iTunes or Apple Store. Either way, I don't see it as a deal-breaker.

    Why would Apple get a cut from PPV?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Why would Apple get a cut from PPV?

    I'm not saying that they would. Just that it's possible if that's what the parties agree to.

    Arguably, the only reason they get a cut from Apple Store and iTunes is that they are providing the infrastructure. One could easily argue that it doesn't apply with PPV. I was just suggesting that it wouldn't be impossible to do.
  • Reply 18 of 36


    These guys are struggling to hold on to thier customers so they are desperate to have some sort of edge. They are losing customers left and right to Fios. Atop that , they are bigger crooks than anyone out there. I dont see any partnership happening in my opinion. Now,  a verizon/apple venture makes more sense. The network is already fiber and they can compete with google's beta project better. But as someone pointed out, all these providers are really direct competition to Apple (with thier VOD services), so Im not sure how that can work out.

  • Reply 19 of 36
    msalganik wrote: »
    Monopoly is right. I'd LOVE TV a la cart . Why would I want to pay for all the garbage channels when all I want is ~10 channels tops and to get them normally I'd have to shell out for the premium "package" from a cable company... that's the main reason I don't by cable now a days, it's just a scam at this point and Im not willing to pay so much for all that I don't use (a lot of my friends feel the same way). i don't need 10 ESPNs or 5 different home shopping networks. I would however pay $2 a month for channels like comedy central and maybe $4 a month for premium like HBO - but I better be able to have access on my laptop and TV and be able to review shows that already aired (kind of like HBO does for Game of Thrones). Hey, here's hoping!

    The cable companies have no control over what the networks want to do. Many of these channels are owned by a parent company, besides owning all the Disney channels, Disney owns ABC, ESPN, and has a 50% stake in A&E which is a host of another 10 channels or so. Getting TV a la carte (the correct spelling of it) is going to be a uphill battle of which the cable companies have little control over, they only deliver the content.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    jragosta wrote: »
    I'm not saying that they would. Just that it's possible if that's what the parties agree to.
    Arguably, the only reason they get a cut from Apple Store and iTunes is that they are providing the infrastructure. One could easily argue that it doesn't apply with PPV. I was just suggesting that it wouldn't be impossible to do.

    You also gotta remember that the cable company is probably only getting a small cut from PPV to begin with. If one orders a movie it's the studio that gets the lion share and if it's a boxing match HBO gets it. I doubt they'll then give Apple a cut from the small sum they receive. BTW I think TW uses Samsung boxes, if Apple were to be awarded the set top box contract and Samsung is forced to pay 3 billion in damages would be a very big blow to them. OUCH!!!
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