Apple’s iTV project may not be so revolutionary; virtually impossible for Apple to offer a la carte channels

“It looks like Apple’s mysterious ‘AppleTV’ project may not be so revolutionary — or disruptive — after all,” Julia Boorstin reports for CNBC. “After months of speculation that Apple will upend the TV business, allowing consumers to ‘cut the cord’ and buy TV channels a la carte, the latest word is that Apple will not threaten cable operators and their media giant partners.”

The Wall Street Journal reports the tech giant is in talks with cable operators to use its device as a set top box. If this is true, cable and media moguls must be breathing a huge sigh of relief,” Boorstin reports. “Though nothing has been settled, Apple would offer a service from the cable operators, likely charging them a fee — it takes 30 percent of much of the content it sells. Ultimately Apple would offer a cool interface to seamlessly navigate TV and web content.”

Boorstin reports, “(If this is true) Bottom line: Apple is focusing on the box and not the delivery system because the content creation and delivery companies are just far too entrenched to be disrupted. The largest media company — Disney — and the largest distribution company — Comcast — struck a ten year distribution deal earlier this year. That means it’s going to be virtually impossible for Apple to offer channels a la carte…. Media companies are wary of giving too much control to Apple — look at the disaster that befell the music industry when Steve Jobs controlled all transactions.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Look at the disaster that befell the music industry? You mean, Apple saving its ass from all-out piracy? Without Apple or Steve Jobs there would be no music industry of which to speak today. And Steve Jobs never “controlled all transactions.” Not even close. Stick to reporting facts, Julia.

Related articles:
Apple in talks with U.S. cable operators over transforming Apple TV into set-top box for live television – August 16, 2012


  1. IMO, iTunes/AppleTV should take on YouTube/Google vis-a-vis courting content producers. Apple should develop their original programming as well as more direct-to-internet content like Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog.

    1. Good idea, Apple should let iTunes users upload all sorts of copyrighted material for everyone to enjoy, make it easy to replicate so when one copy of the video is taken down two others appear and then suggest content producers be satisfied with a pittance share of online ad revenue.

  2. Landing a man on the moon was impossible until it was done. After the cold war we thought it was impossible for someone to attack or home land until 9/11. And just the other day we thought it was impossible to land a 1 ton or so craft on Mars and that is done. So why would anybody think it is impossible for Apple to do? It will be not as easy as the Music Companies but it will be eventually done. There are always possibilities.

  3. I’m wondering just what value would an Apple set-top box add to anyone’s TV viewing habits or workflow? Unless the device lets me cut the cord with the Comcast bundled channel lineup, I can’t imagine why I’d be interested in buying one.

    Just to view NFL games I have to sign up to pay ten bux more a month for a year and get an “incredible” package of unwanted and unnecessary channels ranging from the Amelia Earhart Challenge Channel to the Zarkoff Film Archive channel. All I want is to watch football.

  4. When anyone writes things like “look at the disaster that befell the music industry…” what they are referring to is the “disaster” that music moguls aren’t raking in money hand-over-fist the way they did prior to iTunes.

  5. Huh???

    Apple is already offering “a la carte” channels via app store apps like the ABC player.

    People don’t want live “a la carte” channels. They want on demand “a la carte” channels.

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