Apple talking deal with TV companies that could change TV forever

“Apparently, Apple has been meeting with cable TV companies recently pitching a new idea: A cable set-top box that is built or at least powered by Apple technology,” Henry Blodget writes for Yahoo Finance. “This would presumably either be sold directly, via Apple stores, and replace cable customers’ current cable boxes. Or it would be bought by the cable companies and rented to subscribers, the same way cable companies rent today’s set-top boxes.”

“It would set Apple up to gradually gain more leverage over the cable companies–until the day when Apple has enough households worldwide that it can go direct to the networks and render the cable companies dumb pipes,” Blodget writes. “All that would be excellent for Apple. And the technology could be incorporated into the Apple TV hardware (the “sheet of glass”) and help Apple sell millions more TVs.”

Blodget writes, “Of course, the cable companies aren’t stupid. They know exactly what Apple wants to do to them… In any event, there’s a lot at stake for both sides here, so these will be tense negotiations. But it might be that there’s enough ‘”win-win’ potential that deals can get done.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple set-top box said to erase distinction between live and on-demand content – August 16, 2012
Apple in talks with U.S. cable operators over transforming Apple TV into set-top box for live television – August 16, 2012


  1. well, cable companies are stuck with lousy devices, too complicate for the average user, with important features out of reach due poor infrastructure*. This seems to be a right place, right time for a simple, feature rich, intelligent, ease-to-use mmm…it reminds me 2007 and the smartphone landscape…

    *would not be nice to be able to change the channel and rewind a non recorded show to watch it from the beginning ? How to do this without a huge all digital infrastructure ?…iCloud to the rescue!
    *I love sci-fi, but sci-fi channels are packed with bad stuff…I would like to create my own sci-fi channel, grouping automatically content from available channels…
    *I want to be able to mark an episode from my favorite series and say, this the last one that I saw so far, please organize all other episodes in chronological order starting with this one in a special Saturday event.
    *I want to follow a particular character story arcs…automatically…Q for instance!
    *I want to check what other works that particular actor did and create a row of movies that he or her did (e.g. Helen Mirren…she was the russioan captiain of Leonov spaceship in 2010..I did not know that until I wne to IMDB and check her resume…

    1. Earlier this week I got a survey from Time Warner Cable, asking my opinion about a possible future set top box from them. It was round and a bit larger than a hockey puck. In other words, a round TV. All well and good, but I told them I wanted to see the remote too. The remotes with more buttons than a computer keyboard are the real weak link, not the styling of the set top box.

  2. Apple/Comcast, Apple/Dish and Apple/Directv just like the
    cell providers and music companies, everyone will want to sell TV shows and movies alacarte with no commercials.

    I would pay $150.00 a month not to watch commercials during Breaking Bad, Deadliest Catch or any other channel I like. Advertisers believe the hype and put all your ads of FarceBook, I am sure there are 14 year old girls who need new cars and viagra.

    For me it got boring a year ago.


  3. ala carte, capitalism at work, let the programs/channels that people are willing to pay to watch thrive (commercial free). Let all others die on the vine.

  4. This is a potential to be a win – win if the cable companies strike a deal with Apple. I think the renting idea will work. The cable companies can still offer the same boxes for rent. I my case it is $4.99 for the regular and $7.99 for the one with DVR. They can offer the Apple box as the alternative for $9.99 and $14.99. And if Apple adds wireless and AirPlay to surf the web and play games then it will be allsome. Then it can get ride of the extra boxes and combine it into one.

  5. I would like to be able to pick my own channels and not have to conform to buying useless channel packages… where I have to have channels that I don’t even watch.

    Of course to be able to use Siri, hopefully updated and not in beta anymore and enjoy watching what I would like to watch anywhere in my house.

  6. Apple cable deal would be magical for tv experience.

    goodness knows how many times i’ve bitched to Comcast for being in the 21C with a middleaged GUI. all they had to do is copy Apple! but their CEO demoed a modern UI in Atlanta that years later is still not present in yankeeland. they even hyped to have upgraded Comcast UI twice yet it looks worse each time!

    so, here’s the state of usa: world’s richest country, world #1 in tech & modern civility?! embarrassing!

    in an Ideal World the Apple-Cable Deal would work.
    but look at our society.
    we’re a democracy that is least free.
    we’re about total capitalism yet self-destruct as we even inter-compete within the gov. and corporate departments!
    it’s the world’s most disorganized, neurotic business system. there’s no solidarity, no intent to benefit the user the most. it’s always about $ 1st, which is why only Apple is in the black and 99% of our corporations are wasting away. which is why 911 happened as we do not communicate but compete.

    ideally, if our firms & gov. made sense, we wouldn’t self-destruct but listen to our wisest survivor: Apple, who digs the essence, the mystique, the mojo, secret of life & the universe.

    but realistically,
    we’d have to restart our society. reboot our culture. before this much evolution, we will not change, we will not see the iDeal. tv will be as bad as it ever was. not just ugly but giving into so many ads out of every hole in our body, we’d all feel raped (just see NBC’s olympic experience cut through ads till you vomit) – so that our only choice would be to not watch ANY tv anymore and maybe accomplish something worthier with our lives.

  7. Why is it these idiot cable companies keep wanting to do what whole widget thing? They suck at it! They make good (enough) pipes for data. They suck at on-demand, they suck at offering the channels people want, they just suck all around at this stuff.
    Apple have proven to be experts and content delivery in the way people want to consume it. I really hope they can turn the cable companies into the dumb pipes they were always meant to be.

  8. um.. let’s be serious here… do the cable companies have a option??? once apple goes head to head with them.. they will LOOSE!!!! period… the only thing they can wish for is to get a little piece of the action before they go bankrupt…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.