Time Warner Cable on your Apple TV? It may be closer than you think!

Apple close to deal with Time Warner Cable for channels on Apple TV

Reports suggest that Apple is currently in negotiations with Time Warner Cable to give subscribers access to channels through the Apple TV, with both parties getting close to a deal. It's long been rumored that Apple was negotiating with cable providers for content, and Time Warner Cable in particular, but talks have been difficult. According to Bloomberg, Apple is hiring Pete Distad from Hulu in order to get deals hammered out.

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two people with familiar with the matter said.

Distad being brought aboard is interesting. Eddie Cue, Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services, has been known to handle content negotiations in the past with music labels and movie studios. But cable companies are a different beast entirely. In the end they're the middle men of content, and no doubt want to make sure that they have a deal in place that isn't a threat to their relationship with content providers. Distad, with his experience at Hulu, should be able to help craft a deal that will satisfy the cable companies.

We don't know what shape Time Warner's offering on the Apple TV could take. It could be a TV-based version of their current streaming offering, which lets customers view a select group of channels from their iOS devices, or a more full-featured service. The deal is expected to be announced withing the next few months. We're all keen for more from our Apple TV, but is this the sort of more you're looking for?

Source: Bloomberg

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Time Warner Cable on your Apple TV? It may be closer than you think!

5 Comments

If it's anything like what they did for Roku, it's useless.. You have to have a cable package to use it.. I want ala-cart, or a cheeper streaming only, package.

I'm not going to pay for cable. ;p I've cut the cord.. not going back.

This isn't interesting at all if it requires a cable package. It may be of interest if it's geared more toward secondary TVs when you don't want to have to pay for additional equipment. I don't know how TWC works, but with Dish you have to pay for additional Joeys if you have more than one secondary TV.

With that said, I'm basically a cord never despite having access to Dish. I watch 99% of all TV online via tv, Roku, and various iOS apps. There's really no way for cable providers to tempt me with this kind of offering unless it's a streaming only plan that's priced at no more than ten dollars per month. And even then it's gonna be a tough sale since TWC cable lineup sucks in comparison to Dish.

Share the sentiment of the first two folks: This is pointless for those of us who are using the AppleTV to eliminate the need for a cable subscription. And if I still had a subscription, I wouldn't need an AppleTV.

Let me buy individual channels a la carte, and then we can talk about progress.

Everyone for the most part wouldn't care about this as TWC will require the subscription to cable in order to access it. A complete waste of Apples time.

I would not be shocked if this were an attempt to 1) take advantage of future apps on the AppleTV and 2) as an way into selling Apple Televisions when they come out with an AT&T-like exclusivity over other cable and satellite providers (though I don't see a 4 year agreement, 1 year tops). Plus, it would put some juice into TWC's Signature Home package which lacks a premium hardware option to make it attractive.

For Apple, it would pull tens of thousands of Samsung set top boxes out of the market and open the door to replacing them with sold or rented AppleTV's. In addition, it opens another distribution and deliver channel for AppleTV and future television products.

The iPhone proves that while Apple loves to disrupt new markets they also take a very conservative approach to doing so by getting controlled feedback, ensuring quality and slowly turning up the dial on production. An agreement with TWC would allow them to do just that.