With Apple CEO Tim Cook in attendance, Sun Valley confab kicks off amid sweeping media changes

“The annual retreat of the media industry’s most exclusive club kicks off in earnest today at the Sun Valley resort in Idaho, as CEOs of Silicon Valley giants, cable companies, Hollywood studios and hot tech startups seek out each other for casual networking, doing deals and a bit of business intelligence,” Roger Yu and Cameron Saucier report for USA Today.

“With nearly all major media and tech moguls and bigwigs invited, the confab, hosted by investment bank Allen & Company, is largely closed to the press,” Yu and Saucier report. “The event is occurring at a time of a sweeping media consolidation and mega-mergers unleashed by technological changes and evolving consumer behavior. AT&T’s deal to buy DirecTV and Comcast’s still-pending merger with Time Warner Cable will be frequently discussed. And attempts at early seeding of other deals are expected.”

“The roughly 250 invitees include the usual suspects — Bill and Melinda Gates, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Apple’s Tim Cook, Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, Comcast’s Brian Roberts, AT&T’s Randall Stephenson and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg,” Yu and Saucier report. “Several top sports executives have been invited as well, underscoring the crucial leverage live games lend to broadcast and cable networks in negotiations with pay-TV providers and retaining customers who might otherwise cut the cord. The commissioners of the four major sports leagues — Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association, Roger Goodell of the National Football League, Bud Selig of Major League Baseball and Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League – are on the list.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on May 6th:

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels [with other content gatekeepers]. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.


  1. MDN take is spot on. The type of programming that is most resistant to a la carte pricing is sports.

    Sports are point-in-time events: once they happen, their value falls off a cliff. Serials can be picked up, dropped and picked up again without this kind of temporal dependency.

    For Apple to dominate the “battle for the living room,” it’s going to need to figure out the sporting event conundrum.

      1. If it doesn’t fit sell it off. The content alone is worth the price. Pixar, Lucasfilm, ESPN, ABC, Buena Vista, Touchstone, the whole Disney library from Steamboat Willie to Brave. With ESPN as a trading card how much could they extract from Comcast/HBO?

  2. But with Apple’s strong ties to those companies, a purchase isn’t necessary. I don’t think they should buy any content provider – it will only invite more hostile DOJ scrutiny. They need to do a non-exclusive sports deal – like Sunday Ticket as MDN suggests.

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