New Apple TV 'stalls' because of cable companies & content deals, likely not arriving until 2015 - r

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2014
Apple still has a major revamp of its set-top box in the works, but the next-generation Apple TV may not arrive until next year, thanks to cable companies that are "dragging their heels," according to a new report.


Camera-equipped Apple TV concept via Brightcove.


Details on the alleged delay for the new Apple TV were reported on Wednesday by The Information, which cited Apple engineers that are working on the device. Apple's plans are said to have "stalled" thanks to cable companies, particularly the complications of the Time Warner-Comcast merger that awaits federal approval.

For their part, cable companies are said to be pointing the finger at Apple, accusing the company of biting off "more than it can chew." Rights issues are said to be the main problem for cable companies trying to work out a deal.

"All in all, behind the scenes, everyone is pointing fingers and it remains unclear if and when Apple's grand vision for consolidating all video watching, along with apps and gaming, might see the light of day," reporters Jessica E. Lessin and Amir Efrati wrote.

Earlier reports had suggested that a revamped Apple TV set-top box was on track for release this year. Wednesday's report suggests that was Apple's intent, but snags in negotiations behind the scenes for content may have prompted the company to delay its launch past the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Apple TV


Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that a new Apple TV with motion controls would play a "key role" for the company this year. He had predicted that the upgraded hardware would arrive this fall, leveraging the technology Apple acquired from its acquisition of PrimeSense, which also powered the tech behind Microsoft's first-generation Xbox Kinect gaming peripheral.

Though cable companies apparently privately pointed the blame at Apple, The Information's report states that providers are also wary of making deals with the company, seeing it as a potential threat to their established control of content in the home.

"Cable companies remain reluctant to leave an opening for Apple, which they fear could displace them as the brand that customers associate with television delivery," Wednesday's report states. "And they also remain committed to their own new devices and experiences."

In the meantime, Apple has steadily been adding new content options for its $99 media streamer. Just this week, new channels for Fox Now and CNBC were made available, joining other recent additions of ABC News, PBS Kids, AOL On, and Willow.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So there's no way for Apple to update the ATV without these content deals worked out? Or are they sitting on an ATV with new/better UI, App Store gaming capabilities waiting for these content deals to materialize?

    Perhaps Cook needs to hire someone specific to take over Apple's TV plans. Someone from the industry that will be able to get deals done. Eddy Cue doesn't seem to be the guy that can get this stuff done.
  • Reply 2 of 87
    I'm really tired of this....,,
  • Reply 3 of 87
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 336member
    Uggghhh...cable devices.... no one wants a cable companies device.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 275member
    Once one company finally figures out how to effectively bypass the cable companies, they will be dead to rights.

    All they are doing by stalling with Apple is squeezing out the last little bit of profit they can before it is all turned on its head (just like music)
  • Reply 5 of 87
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rogifan wrote: »
    So there's no way for Apple to update the ATV without these content deals worked out?

    The original Apple TV almost failed because of the lack of content deals. This is important for this device to succeed.

    customtb wrote: »
    Uggghhh...cable devices.... no one wants a cable companies device.

    We don't, but since those that also have cable TV in an area are very likely to also get their internet from their cable company that means Apple has to work with them or risk being throttled, or worse, shut out, like what happened with the original Google TV. This is a very tricky nut to crack.
  • Reply 6 of 87
    rogifan wrote: »
    So there's no way for Apple to update the ATV without these content deals worked out? Or are they sitting on an ATV with new/better UI, App Store gaming capabilities waiting for these content deals to materialize?

    Perhaps Cook needs to hire someone specific to take over Apple's TV plans. Someone from the industry that will be able to get deals done. Eddy Cue doesn't seem to be the guy that can get this stuff done.

    Perhaps he already did hire that someone? Maybe someone who has experience negotiating in the music business would be able to do something similar in visual entertainment? I don't know if that's true, I'm just speculating.
  • Reply 7 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    The original Apple TV almost failed because of the lack of content deals. This is important for this device to succeed.
    We don't, but since those that also have cable TV in an area are very likely to also get their internet from their cable company that means Apple has to work with them or risk being throttled, or worse, shut out, like what happened with the original Google TV. This is a very tricky nut to crack.
    Yes content is important. But there are a lot of improvements Apple could make even if these deals aren't worked out yet. The ATV is in real need of an interface overhaul. It needs better navigation and search (voice would be nice). It needs an App Store. It would be really great if you could enter your cable provider credentials once rather than having to enter them for each individual app. There's plenty Apple could do to keep ATV competitive with other streaming boxes like Roku and Fire TV.
  • Reply 8 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Perhaps he already did hire that someone? Maybe someone who has experience negotiating in the music business would be able to do something similar in visual entertainment? I don't know if that's true, I'm just speculating.
    That's what Apple needs. There are things Apple might have been able to do just because of Steve. And I'm not sure Eddy (or Tim) have the same ability. I like that Apple is apparently thinking big in this space but I hope they don't neglect their existing product while going after this grander vision.
  • Reply 9 of 87
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,744member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    So Ming is WRONG again.....


     

    Or, maybe what what he described is exactly what Apple had planned, but negotiations didn't go the way they expected. We'll never know.

  • Reply 10 of 87
    rogifan wrote: »
    That's what Apple needs. There are things Apple might have been able to do just because of Steve. And I'm not sure Eddy (or Tim) have the same ability. I like that Apple is apparently thinking big in this space but I hope they don't neglect their existing product while going after this grander vision.

    I guess what I'm trying to (maybe too subtly) imply is that perhaps this is part of what Jimmy Iovine will help with?
  • Reply 11 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I guess what I'm trying to (maybe too subtly) imply is that perhaps this is part of what Jimmy Iovine will help with?
    I'll have to search for the quote but I think Jimmy specifically said he's not getting involved in content outside of music.

    EDIT: here's what Iovine said:

    http://recode.net/2014/05/28/meet-apples-latest-hire-and-apples-media-boss-jimmy-iovine-and-eddy-cue-come-to-code-liveblog/

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Kara: Jimmy, what are you going to do about TV?

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Iovine: I’ve got an enormous job with music. I’m not going anywhere near TV.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    Go ahead and open your HBO-style studio division, Apple. That's why you paid big bucks for Jimmy Iovine, isn't it?
  • Reply 13 of 87
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mangy dog wrote: »
    Go ahead and open your HBO-style studio division, Apple. That's why you paid big bucks for Jimmy Iovine, isn't it?

    http://recode.net/2014/05/28/meet-apples-latest-hire-and-apples-media-boss-jimmy-iovine-and-eddy-cue-come-to-code-liveblog/

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Kara: Jimmy, what are you going to do about TV?

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Iovine: I’ve got an enormous job with music. I’m not going anywhere near TV.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,658member

    Yeah Comcast buying TimeWarner put a big nail in that coffin that is for sure. I personally believe that the deal with TW and Apple was part of the reason Comcast over paid for TW. Comcast did not want this to happen, where Apple could deliver TW content to Comcast customer via a Comcast Internet connection.

     

    Once consumers have the option to consumer content a la carte, Comcast and other cable operators will be just a big dumb fat pipe.

     

    I have 4 choose for video content unlike most people in the US, I have Comcast, FIOS, DirecTV and Dish and even with 4 you can not get any of them give a great deal. There is only so much they can do since the Content owners force bundle deals, Like the Discovery Network, you getting all their channels whether watch them or not.

     

    South Park puts it all in perspective.

     

    image 

  • Reply 15 of 87
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'll have to search for the quote but I think Jimmy specifically said he's not getting involved in content outside of music.

    EDIT: here's what Iovine said:

    http://recode.net/2014/05/28/meet-apples-latest-hire-and-apples-media-boss-jimmy-iovine-and-eddy-cue-come-to-code-liveblog/

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Kara: Jimmy, what are you going to do about TV?

    Peter KafkaMAY 28, 20148:48 PM
    Iovine: I’ve got an enormous job with music. I’m not going anywhere near TV.

    Good memory, I missed that (or forgot about it, I'm not sure). That's unfortunate, though, as from what I hear about the guy, he seems like he might have the negotiating ability. He also seems like he'd be pretty blunt about it: "Throw in with us or it won't be long until you're under", sort of thing.
  • Reply 16 of 87
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member

    Meh.

     

    Cut the cable some time ago. They can keep their content.

     

    I go over the air (mostly dreck, occasionally good stuff) and ATV/Netflix. Get internet access through phone company DSL. Slow on paper (~5 mbit/sec) yet somehow Netflix never stutters for me.

     

    Hmm.

  • Reply 17 of 87

    We start dropping cable TV and they will raise the rates for internet so high that nobody can afford it. They've raised my rates three times in the past year without even a notice.

    If I switch to DSL I lose my 30MB DL and suffer the fact that they throttle DSL after 5GIGs of use.

     

    I'm 51 and can't remember the last time I left my house without my cell phone or the last time I went all day without opening my laptop and searching the net or checking emails.

     

     

    I think it's time for me to disconnect when I find myself posting about this crap.

  • Reply 18 of 87
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,178member
    Cable TV + ISP package will scupper any chance of progress in digital media delivery.

    If US ISPs are already locked down then perhaps Apple should focus on delivering US content to the rest of the world or rest of the world content to the US? Or perhaps they should partner with a UFB network and start delivering naked broadband in the US.

    McD
  • Reply 19 of 87
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,484member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

     

    Yeah Comcast buying TimeWarner put a big nail in that coffin that is for sure. I personally believe that the deal with TW and Apple was part of the reason Comcast over paid for TW. Comcast did not want this to happen, where Apple could deliver TW content to Comcast customer via a Comcast Internet connection.

     

    Once consumers have the option to consumer content a la carte, Comcast and other cable operators will be just a big dumb fat pipe.

     

    I have 4 choose for video content unlike most people in the US, I have Comcast, FIOS, DirecTV and Dish and even with 4 you can not get any of them give a great deal. There is only so much they can do since the Content owners force bundle deals, Like the Discovery Network, you getting all their channels whether watch them or not.

     


     

    I've worked since late 2005 in the area of media rights management.   Many of the cable networks as well as other organizations are clients of the enterprise software we produce to manage this.

     

    The ISPs themselves, like Time-Warner, Comcast, RCN, etc. actually have quite limited options in terms of what they can offer as they don't own the content (although their parent companies do in some cases).

     

    Even the cable channels themselves don't have 100% of the rights and can't necessarily offer Apple rights even if they wanted to.   That's not true in all cases, but it's true in many cases.  In addition, they are currently getting big dollars from the major ISPs and they're not going to endanger that, although there's not much the ISPs can do about it if they did.  The cable networks actually do have the upper hand as we've seen in recent contractual disputes.  

     

    The contractual rights to the programs are not simple - they're actually quite complex and since Apple is not an ISP, every contract will have to be renegotiated for AppleTV unless Apple offers it in conjunction with an ISP (except where the cable network owns 100% of the rights in all media, in all territories, in perpetuity) and the problem the cable networks have with that is that it opens up the entire contract for renegotiation with the content providers, so they avoid that at all costs.  For them to think that's worth it, Apple would have to prove that they're going to dominate the market.   So far, they haven't done that. 

     

    This isn't just a matter of cable companies not understanding the future or otherwise being obnoxious. 

  • Reply 20 of 87
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Yes content is important. But there are a lot of improvements Apple could make even if these deals aren't worked out yet. The ATV is in real need of an interface overhaul. It needs better navigation and search (voice would be nice). It needs an App Store. It would be really great if you could enter your cable provider credentials once rather than having to enter them for each individual app. There's plenty Apple could do to keep ATV competitive with other streaming boxes like Roku and Fire TV.

    This!

     

    We don't need content deals!  Work on that for 2015!

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