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?