CBS turned down the chance of an Apple TV deal

Speaking on his company’s earnings call, CBS CEO Les Moonves said that CBS had turned down the Apple TV as a platform for its content. The revelation was revealed in response to a question about CBS’s appetite toward striking deals with new streaming providers that may not have the cash to pay up front for its content. Moonves claimed that CBS had turned down Apple and its Apple TV platform because the offer was based on an ad split revenue source.

This seems to confirm rumors that Apple is trying to secure some sort of Apple TV subscription service however it looks like it is going to be much harder than Apple had hoped. Apple has been slowly adding additional media content to the Apple TV platform; the recent iOS 5 update brought Wall Street Journal Live and NHL content. Hulu Plus is also rumored to be ready to go on the Apple TV but political reasons are cited as holding it back from launch.

Source: Gigaom


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Reader comments

CBS turned down the chance of an Apple TV deal


"Political Reasons"? I suppose Comcast/NBC and Direct TV don't want Apple inching their way into TV like they did in the music industry. That's just too much power for one tech company, isn't it? Anyone here have an Apple TV? Is it worth having?

My AppleTV is my main media source. I have a SabNZB, CouchPotato, SickBeard setup of automated TV show and Movie downloading. It works perfectly. That, coupled with my FireCore aTV (Black) jailbreak. I can watch whatever I want. The only thing missing is NFL, but hopefully Apple is working to secure that deal.

Except Google never thought of releasing an actual TV Unit.
Apple is trying to get all these stations onboard for the APPLE HDTV not to be confused with the current AppleTV ;)

While on the one hand this clears an entire host of problems, it also adds a huge one that Google TV managed to skip -- bandwidth caps. Although GoogleTV has some apps and IP content, for its main channels it defers to the cable/sat box. The speculation on the Apple HDTV is that it is going to emphasize apps as channels much more, and negotiate separate content deals. If they do that, the bandwidth accounting is no longer under your cableco, but under your ISP, and they are more parsimonious.
An HD movie on netflix is about 3.6GB (HD TV shows less efficient at about 3GB/hour, and SD movies about 700MB/2 hours). For the occasional movie, that is fine, but if streaming IPTV became the standard for the average American's 151 hours of TV a month, you are talking 150-700+ GB/month just for TV usage, depending on the HD/SD mix. Even if Apple manages to sign up every content provider, for an HD watcher overage charges are going to obliterate any cable savings. If you are unfortunate enough to have a heavy-handed ISP, might face the warning letters and shutoff. All the while, ISPs who also provide TV -- ATT, TWC, Cox, Comcast -- will smugly point out that their own TV systems do not count against the cap.
Don't get me wrong -- I would love to see Apple (or anybody) step in and really disrupt the cable TV market. Some of these guys have had it coming for years. But it is going to be a steeply uphill climb.

No worries, we will all remember CBS as the company that turned down AppleTV just like we remember Verizon who turned down the iPhone...

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