Sports opens the door for ‘Apple iTV’

“Our Carlton Wilkinson wrote a nice piece last week about Apple’s [rumored] TV,” Dana Blankenhorn writes for TheStreet. “I can sum up his expectations for the product in one word: Meh. “But there’s reason to believe Apple’s chances of success are greater than you might think. That reason can also be summed up in one word: Sports. Almost half your monthly cable bill now goes to sports.”

Blankenhorn writes, “Accelerating bills for basic cable or satellite, driven by sports rights fees, create a bigger opportunity for those who can provide an unbundled alternative… That’s what iTunes can do. The infrastructure is already there. It has already done this with music. A compelling product, with a business model people already support, is something cable networks will have to take notice of, and that’s what Apple knows how to deliver.”

“Imagine a high-capacity DVR inside that screen, connected to the cloud for unlimited choice in programming, with your current iMac, iPhone or iPad used as the ‘clicker’ and WiFi as the glue connecting it all,” Blankenhorn writes. “Now imagine a business model that gives you any programming you want, when you want it, at a fraction of the cost of your existing cable bill.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagining does not mean reality. À la carte is a pipe dream. There are too many niche channels that ESPN, etc. support that would die. We’d basically end up with channels 2-13 again. (Okay, maybe channels 1-50, but you get the idea.)

If Eddy Cue can negotiate some sort of more limited “à la carte” deals – smaller, more tightly-focused groups of channels and networks*, that’d be amazing enough. So amazing, in fact, that his very next stop afterwards should be to the Middle East to broker a long and lasting peace. That’d be a piece of cake compared to wrangling pure a la carte out of

*For example, you get to choose from among categorized content blocks: “Food,” “Traditional Sports,” (maybe even “Soccer,” “Baseball,” “Basketball,” “American Football,” etc.), “Outdoor Sports,” Documentaries,” “News,” “Kids and Family,” “Lifestyle,” “Movies,” “Classic Movies,” etc.

Related article:
No, sports does not open the door for ‘Apple iTV’ – November 29, 2012


  1. Why don’t people define ala carte?

    Couldn’t it mean purchasing or subscribing to A channel. Like espn, CNN, Fox, NFL, etc.

    The other model would be cool, but then you run the issue of how do people discover new shows.

    Each cable company pays like $3 for Espn per subscriber, per month. $36 a year for that channel. Maybe a 6 month or 3 month package that’s higher?

    So for an entry package of cable of about $25 or $300 a year now your dollar goes further as who watches the local access channel? But everyone is forced to pay for it?

      1. MDN: “We’d basically end up with channels 2-13 again. (Okay, maybe channels 1-50, but you get the idea.)”

        When I had 600 channels I found I watched about a dozen channels regularly. Cable/Satellite fees have become ridiculous. I now have an antenna and I get about about 30 HD channels. The only one I miss is ESPN, but I’ve found I can live without ESPN’s content. I no longer care about NASCAR or the BCS because I now don’t follow the weekly action. It’s their loss, not mine. I have other things to do. I think there’s a good chance that those who limit their fan bases by forcing those fans to buy ESPN will eventually regret that decision.

      1. No, I ‘m talking about the reference to a la carte TV happening vis a vis lasting middle east peace. C’mon now, if you are really a Superior Being, you would already know this by now and not make yourself look silly!

    1. MDN’s use of “American Football” clearly indicates that, while they likely have a high percentage of U.S. visitors to whom they must cater, they very obviously understand what you’ve so redundantly posted, genius.

    2. Tell you what: If you’ll stop whistling at the end when pronouncing “while” and “among”, we’ll start calling those games “football” and “gridiron football.” Okay? In the meantime, since MDN is hosted in the US, they have the choice of words to use.

      Not only that, soccer is perhaps the most boring game outside of baseball to watch. Three guys running around who occasionally involve a forth or fifth person as they kick a ball around. As least you have time to go get a beer or take a whiz and know nothing of significance has happened in the meantime.

  2. Blankenship is a fool. He has 10 shares of Apple, 10! He also has 200 shares of Microsoft and shares of Google. The guy spent most of last year bashing Apple and praising Google. He’s really a penny investor that knows nothing about tech.

  3. Apple shouldn’t go to the network, it should go to the source. What if Apple went directly to the SEC (who’s TV contract is up for renegotiation next year) and said we want to offer an SEC (or ACC, or Big12, or B1G, etc) channel on AppleTV. SEC and ACC don’t have networks today and are their inventory covers prime TV markets.

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