Apple negotiating directly with content providers for new TV product - report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In a bid to break a stalemate in its attempt to release a full-fledged television set, Apple has reportedly brought ESPN, HBO, and Viacom to the table and is negotiating directly with content providers, rather than cable companies.

Apple TV


As Apple moves closer to releasing its oft-rumored television set, the Cupertino company is said to have altered its go-to-market strategy, bypassing cable companies that have long balked at Apple's terms in favor of direct negotiations with content providers, according to a report published Thursday by Quartz.

The negotiations reportedly center around a new, Apple-branded television set rather than the company's existing Apple TV product. Apple is said to be willing to enter the market even without a majority of the content providers signing on, betting that a small amount of high-quality content will drive enough consumer demand for the product that the rest will have little choice but to follow.Apple's rumored plans to build a television set are said to hinge around content deals. Having made no progress with cable companies, Apple is said to be speaking with content providers directly.

The report suggests that Apple may be willing to go as far as to become a virtual cable company itself, mirroring rumors leading up to the iPhone launch in 2007 that Apple would form an MVNO ? or Mobile Virtual Network Operator - to provide mobile telephony services for its new device. The report notes that Sony, Google, and Intel are considering similar options for their own television strategies.

Apple and Viacom refused to comment specifically on the negotiations, while ESPN's Chris LaPlaca said that "there are no formal discussions taking place" and HBO's Jeff Cusson said they "have no plans to go over the top or to enter these markets in a different way."

Reportedly, an Apple television set would follow the company's iOS paradigm of organizing content around apps, moving away from the traditional channel model. Apple might also offer cross-app search functionality, further abstracting the content from the specific providers.

The report goes on to link recent Apple acquisition of content aggregator Matcha.tv, revealed earlier this month, as well as Apple's rumored $280 million offer for PrimeSense, the Israeli firm whose technology is behind Microsoft's Kinect, to Cupertino's evolving television strategy.

Rumors of an Apple television set have remained for years, but they picked up considerable steam in late 2011, when biographer Walter Isaacson revealed that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had said he felt he "cracked" the secret to a simple television set. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook added fuel to the fire when he said in an interview last year that current television sets make him feel like he's "gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years."

The company's current initiative is driven by the Apple TV set-top box, offering streaming content from iTunes and other sources like Netflix and Hulu. Apple has steadily added features to that product, and is even expected to enable live streaming television for Time Warner Cable subscribers in the near future.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77


    THANK YOU THANK YOU EXACTLY.


     


    SCREW the cable and satellite companies. Kill them all.

  • Reply 2 of 77


    I sadly just got a tv, LG TV, which I love; however, it will be interesting to see how Apple goes about doing this (if it is true). I am pretty tired of the cable company and look forward to satellite once I am done with college. Of course, skipping both would be pretty cool.


     


    My LG TV is a smart TV and I think it is much better than Samsung's Smart TV (just my opinion). The issue is just lack of apps and content (I find the same problem with Samsung's TV). I would like to see Apple really change things around, maybe offer a separate box to make any TV similar to a full Apple TV.

  • Reply 3 of 77
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    It's good that they are trying to get around the cable companies but this isn't necessarily just for a TV set. The set top box etc can use this as well. Getting cable out of the mix could change pricing, timing, quality, complete my season and plus options perhaps
  • Reply 4 of 77
    Get Sunday ticket and I bet a lot of people will get on the AppleTV. Do not let Google get it Apple.
  • Reply 5 of 77
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Fine except I still want local programming. As for ESPN they don't have all the games for all the sports either. 


     


    And, if you get your Internet from the cable companies they still have you by the balls. They can just raise the rates for Internet and potentially screw with your streaming packets when they know it is video from iTunes.

  • Reply 6 of 77
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,098member
    kozchris wrote: »
    Get Sunday ticket and I bet a lot of people will get on the AppleTV. Do not let Google get it Apple.
    I'm guessing you read the report that has Google, and I'd imagine Apple too, negotiating to take over NFL Sunday Ticket when DirectTV's contract runs out next year.
  • Reply 7 of 77
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,453member
    Don't know much about how TV, and the go-to-market strategy, works in The States, but couldn't hey go one step further: talking directly with the studio's who make the programs? I understand that wouldn't work for sports and such, but series, docu's etc, would that work?

    [I]Reading up on ESPN, HBO and such now...[/I]
  • Reply 8 of 77
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member


    The cable companies are f*cked.

  • Reply 9 of 77
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    This is what Apple should do. Even if the Apple virtual cable company is a hobby at first, sign me up.

    In other news, Google announces it is thinking of becoming a virtual cable company, followed by Samsung ...
  • Reply 10 of 77
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member


    For those of you getting excited- did you just bypass this little snippet in the article? 


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    Apple and Viacom refused to comment specifically on the negotiations, while ESPN's Chris LaPlaca said that "there are no formal discussions taking place" and HBO's Jeff Cusson said they "have no plans to go over the top or to enter these markets in a different way."


     


    I'm all for dealing with the content providers.  If nothing else, just to scare one or two of the cable providers to nut up and sign on with them.

  • Reply 11 of 77

    Originally Posted by kozchris View Post


    Get Sunday ticket and I bet a lot of people will get on the AppleTV. Do not let Google get it Apple.


     


    Get ANY form of the NFL. They're the one major sport still missing.


     


    Oh, and get rid of the effing stupid requirement on some of the Channels now that says you have to have a subscription to cable or satellite to use. Nonsense.

  • Reply 12 of 77
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,098member
    andysol wrote: »
    For those of you getting excited- did you just bypass this little snippet in the article? 

    I'm all for dealing with the content providers.  If nothing else, just to scare one or two of the cable providers to nut up and sign on with them.

    FWIW there were reports last month on Google, Intel and Sony also trying to negotiate TV streaming rights directly with the providers. It's the next hot thing I guess.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324348504578610050212447028.html


    With Apple's billions I would think they'd have the inside track if they really really want it.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    I still wonder if Netflix might not be a good acquisition for Apple ...
  • Reply 14 of 77
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kozchris View Post



    Get Sunday ticket and I bet a lot of people will get on the AppleTV. Do not let Google get it Apple.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I'm guessing you read the report that has Google, and I'd imagine Apple too, negotiating to take over NFL Sunday Ticket when DirectTV's contract runs out next year.


     


    That package is going to be massive!  Currently, DirectTV pays $1 Billion a year.  If Google and Apple get into it- you're looking at doubling that or more I'd guess.


     


    And for what it's worth- only 2 million subscribe to it @ $250/yr- so a return of $500mil (or a loss of $500mil)- mobile, bragging and advertising excluded of course.

  • Reply 15 of 77
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,098member
    edit
  • Reply 16 of 77
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member


    As long as the content for the AppleTV is delivered by cable companies or by DSL or fiber these companies still have plenty of leverage. There is a whole lot of mischief they could cause if they chose to do so. 

  • Reply 17 of 77
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Oh, and get rid of the effing stupid requirement on some of the Channels now that says you have to have a subscription to cable or satellite to use. Nonsense.



     


    Are you actually serious? It may differ depending on who you use but very simple to go into menu settings and edit your favorite channels and choose your channel list and choose not to display certain channels in your guide. I removed all the channels I don't subscribe to as well as about 100 more I can watch but never will. 

  • Reply 18 of 77
    irelandireland Posts: 17,669member
    I have been saying this a few years.

    Apple needs a TV show content monthly contract deal which customers sign so Apple can sell them a truly breakthrough AIO TV at a subsidised price. This is the only way Apple can control the whole end-to-end experience. And this is only way consumers can get a truly seamless experience. All of this boxes hanging of your TV crap is the past, not the future.

    This is what Apple wants, but more importantly, this is what I want. This is the only way just about anyone can buy a TV, throw out all of their old crap and have one (Bluetooth) remote for their living room, and not some universal remote bullshit.
  • Reply 19 of 77

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    As long as the content for the AppleTV is delivered by cable companies or by DSL or fiber these companies still have plenty of leverage. There is a whole lot of mischief they could cause if they chose to do so. 



     


    Although surely not a popular idea around here, there could be some benefit to negotiate with Google.  Apple content delivered over Google Fiber, if even on a small scale at first, could persuade the cable companies in the right direction.

  • Reply 20 of 77
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member


    Hope APPLE has learned it's lesson from the books mess. "Content providers" sure looks a lot like publishers and cable companies a lot like Amazon.


     


    And we know how that's been going....

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