In pushing for Time Warner merger, Comcast cites Apple's development of new set-top box

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 2014
Rumors that Apple is working on a new set-top box are high-profile enough that Comcast saw it fit to cite them on Tuesday as part of a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Apple TV


Comcast published the document publicly as well, as part of the company's efforts to have its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved by the government. In the letter, Comcast attempted to portray how its competitors are exploring new ways to offer content to customers, specifically naming Apple, Amazon, Google and Verizon.

Regarding Apple, Comcast cited the iPad as being used by existing cable services to provide content, while Apple's own iTunes and the existing Apple TV are also used to sell video content to consumers.

Comcast then mentioned that the company is exploring "development of an Apple set-top box," seemingly suggesting that a more full-fledged offering could be in the works. The document declines to offer any more details, so it's unknown whether Comcast was simply referring to longstanding rumors, or if the claims were made based on some other knowledge.

Apple TV


The current Apple TV hasn't been updated in two years, and numerous rumors have suggested that the company is working on an update that could be unveiled as soon as this month. While the current Apple TV has been continuously expanded with new content options, it's been suggested that Apple may be considering partnerships with cable providers themselves to provide live and on-demand content to existing subscribers.

As for Comcast, America's largest cable provider has also been rumored to be in talks with Apple regarding potential future partnerships. Specifically, it's been said that Apple is interested in bypassing Web congestion on Comcast's infrastructure to user's homes, which would allow Apple to provide faster and more reliable performance to users watching streaming video content.

Apple was also said to be in talks with Time Warner for a potential partnership, and Comcast announced in February that it hopes to purchase Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $45.2 billion. Comcast's efforts face serious federal scrutiny, however, as the two companies are the largest cable providers in the U.S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,398member
    Idiots! (Headslap!)
  • Reply 2 of 50
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    "We need more of a monopoly because all of these internet services (who have to come begging to us for non-throttled bandwidth) might someday get around our monopoly agreements with the content providers". See?
  • Reply 3 of 50
    Perhaps Comcast might just be echoing rumors.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    I've been pulling for this for a while.  Again, people wanting a la carte services might as well concede to the fact it wont happen for a decade.  Again- the biggest factor is sports programming and their exclusive deals with TNT, Fox Sports, TBS, amongst the networks as well.  Could those services sell individually?  I guess- but also very very unlikely seeing as they package their popular stations and force the cable companies to purchase their spare and less-watched stations as a bundle.

     

    If the next Apple TV partners with a handful of companies to provide the UI for their services- I would likely switch from AT&T U-verse to one of their services if the UI & search function was compelling enough.

  • Reply 5 of 50
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member

    The FCC needs to break up these content agreements as anticompetitive. We should be able to get Television content from the provider of our choice regardless of who owns the last mile. 

  • Reply 6 of 50
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post

    "We need more of a monopoly because all of these internet services (who have to come begging to us for non-throttled bandwidth) might someday get around our monopoly agreements with the content providers". See?

     

    Apple will be sued for trying to create a monopoly and their statement here will be cited as proof.

  • Reply 7 of 50
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member

    I am all for this deal. I could care less about cable monopolies, they are already monopolies.

     

    All that I want as part of the deal is for the complete separation of the ISP business from the cable business. The ISP should own the physical cabling and the cable company can purchase bandwidth from the ISP.

     

    Without this all of this is a sad and not funny joke. Isn't it interesting that all of the "competition" that these cable jokers pointed to are in large part dependent on the cable company's ISP services? So, in other words their competition is dependent on their good graces. Yeah, that always works well.

     

    Cable and ISP should be broken up. It is a huge conflict of interest.

  • Reply 8 of 50
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 501member
    Maybe Apple will start a subscription service like Amazin or Netflix?
  • Reply 9 of 50
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

     

    I've been pulling for this for a while.  Again, people wanting a la carte services might as well concede to the fact it wont happen for a decade.  Again- the biggest factor is sports programming and their exclusive deals with TNT, Fox Sports, TBS, amongst the networks as well.  Could those services sell individually?  I guess- but also very very unlikely seeing as they package their popular stations and force the cable companies to purchase their spare and less-watched stations as a bundle.

     

    If the next Apple TV partners with a handful of companies to provide the UI for their services- I would likely switch from AT&T U-verse to one of their services if the UI & search function was compelling enough.


     

    Apple shouldn't have to partner with U-verse. They should be able to compete with them and kick their ass. It would be great to hand pick my channel lineup, but right now I want to be able to pick my provider. Choosing between U-verse, Time Warner, Dish, and DirecTV is not what I have in mind. 

  • Reply 10 of 50

    Maybe Apple has an agreement of exclusivity with Comcast like it did with AT&T back in 2006/2007

  • Reply 11 of 50
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    To take "exploration" from the actually quote, and turn it into "development" in the headline is a RIDICULOUS stretch.

  • Reply 12 of 50

    If you ask me, Comcast desperately needs more competition...  

  • Reply 13 of 50
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

    The FCC needs to break up these content agreements as anticompetitive. We should be able to get Television content from the provider of our choice regardless of who owns the last mile. 


    We should be able to buy content from the content creators. The best scenario is to have a retailer middle man, like Apple, for the entire thing.

     

    Works for iTunes.

     

    Wonder how successful it would be if you could watch a show LIVE when it Airs, but still had to pay per episode (you then own the episode thereafter as well). I think very.

     

    I think $0.99 for a 30 min segment with ads, and $1.99 for a 60 min segment with ads, to Watch LIVE and own the content Ad-free on demand afterward would be great. Certainly not cheap if you watch too much TV...but for my limited habits of consuming live TV it would be great.

     

    Let's say I watch a weekly series with 60 min episodes, that runs 24 episodes over the course of 6 months.

     

    I pay $1.99 per week to watch each episode with Ads, and then own it as part of my iTunes account for on demand streaming.

     

    At the end of 6 months, I've paid roughly $48 to watch Live and Own a full season. Over 6 months, not bad if you ask me. Not bad at all. More expensive than a current Season Pass on iTunes, but with added value.

  • Reply 14 of 50
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    mknopp wrote: »
    I am all for this deal. I could care less about cable monopolies, they are already monopolies.

    All that I want as part of the deal is for the complete separation of the ISP business from the cable business. The ISP should own the physical cabling and the cable company can purchase bandwidth from the ISP.

    Without this all of this is a sad and not funny joke. Isn't it interesting that all of the "competition" that these cable jokers pointed to are in large part dependent on the cable company's ISP services? So, in other words their competition is dependent on their good graces. Yeah, that always works well.

    Cable and ISP should be broken up. It is a huge conflict of interest.

    Nobody's gonna build a new network just for internet. The cost is astronomical, and it would take decades if not centuries to recover the cost.

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/04/one-big-reason-we-lack-internet-competition-starting-an-isp-is-really-hard/?kw=100k_pvs&search=100k_pvs
  • Reply 15 of 50
    esummersesummers Posts: 910member
    As long as this agreement somehow allows me to get HBO Go without cable TV, then maybe I don't care. Personally I think local municipalities should provide internet service or at least run the fibre and lease it to ISPs. This market is naturally a monopoly. Having at least some local control is really the only thing you can do.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    esummers wrote: »
    As long as this agreement somehow allows me to get HBO Go without cable TV, then maybe I don't care. Personally I think local municipalities should provide internet service or at least run the fibre and lease it to ISPs. This market is naturally a monopoly. Having at least some local control is really the only thing you can do.

    That's called 'unbundling' the network. The telcos were forced to allow other companies on their network. Many businesses get their DSL from Covad over the local telco's network. Don't see why the same couldn't be done with a incumbent cable company.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 248member
    Great argument against merger is Comcast continuing fight to neuter tech for viewers will that much more effective with merger.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member

    And I

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Nobody's gonna build a new network just for internet. The cost is astronomical, and it would take decades if not centuries to recover the cost.



    http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/04/one-big-reason-we-lack-internet-competition-starting-an-isp-is-really-hard/?kw=100k_pvs&search=100k_pvs

     

    I never proposed that anyone should. What I said was that the current Cable/ISP company should be split into two different companies. The ISP company would get control of the existing network and the cable company would be allowed to  buy bandwdith on that existing network from the ISP.

     

    This would allow the cable companies to remain content providers, and would also allow the ISP companies to become dumb pipe providers.

     

    Nobody needs to build anything new at all and the conflict of interest inherent in cable companies controlling the conduits, ISP, for their competition is removed.

  • Reply 19 of 50
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,696member

    It's ironic.

     

    I get live Time Warner cable on every device that I have except for one, the Apple TV.

     

    I can watch live Time Warner cable tv on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and Macs, but not on Apple TV.

  • Reply 20 of 50
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

     

    Apple shouldn't have to partner with U-verse. They should be able to compete with them and kick their ass. It would be great to hand pick my channel lineup, but right now I want to be able to pick my provider. Choosing between U-verse, Time Warner, Dish, and DirecTV is not what I have in mind. 


    Please expand.  If picking between U-verse, time warner, fios, dish, directtv, cox, etc. isnt what you have in mind- then what did you mean by you want to be able to pick your provider?

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