Apple provides HBO with leverage to use against cable and satellite providers

“Time Warner Inc’s HBO will compete head-on with Netflix, Inc. when it launches a standalone service that doesn’t require cable. Is this the result of Netflix’s growth or due to a lack of support from the cable industry?” Louis Bedigian reports for Benzinga. “For answers, Albert Fried & Company Director of Research Rich Tullo looked at HBO’s partnership with Apple Inc.”

It’s important to look at that, ’cause ultimately what HBO is saying is… you, Comcast, are perhaps doing more to promote Netflix than HBO. We don’t like that. If we don’t like that, we’re going to take our show and put it on Apple and we have better economics than dealing with you if you’re not going to promote our programming. – Rich Tullo

“Whether Comcast could actually stop some users from getting HBO Now remains to be seen. Whatever happens, Tullo believes this is a ‘very important leverage point that they just created for themselves,'” Bedigian reports. “‘The second big company in Silicon Valley is also doing business with Time Warner,’ Tullo added, referring to HBO’s deal to provide content to, Inc. ‘So you’re going to have Apple and Amazon doing business with HBO and you have Netflix by themselves.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The whole thing is, as Steve would likely term it, a bag of hurt. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, we’d love to have an Apple UI controlling something that approaches an à la carte television system. We’d pay good money for that. These cable/satellite systems and their horrible boxes, DVRs, and awful UIs are only getting worse.

Related articles:
HBO Now standalone service exclusive for Apple devices until summer – March 10, 2015
HBO NOW premiers in April for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV – March 9, 2015


  1. We cut the cable cord last year. 40+ on-air stations for free in full HD. Apple TVs on each TV with EyeTV software able to record any show we need and then it can be watched through any Apple TV or on the iPhone or iPad. No monthly fees whatsoever. Sweet!

    1. Where did you find an EyeTV version for OTA broadcast without a subscription fee? In my experience, all the currently available EyeTV software requires a scheduler subscription, and all OTA DVRs have been taken off the market by the cable companies who acquired them.

      1. I’ve used, it’s free – just register and select your channel line up.
        When you click on a show on the schedule, there is a “record” option. This will download a small file, “program.tvpi”. EyeTV will handle this file type, adding it to your scheduled recordings.

    2. Been a few years since I looked at EyeTV.
      What product are you using?
      Can you give a brief explanation of the setup?
      Sounds great and something I have been contemplating.

    3. Cut the cord myself about the same time. Between digital antenna, Netflix and Hulu I’m set.

      Bought my own cable modem for $70 (Comcast RENTS it for $12 a month, plus taxes, with a 2 year contract. Can’t wait for ESPN to do the same thing as HBO. When that happens the cable companies are toast (ESPN is the #1 watched TV channel).

  2. Cut my cord over 2 years ago. Plenty of channels with a good digital antenna. The only thing I miss is ESPN, but now it’s available stand alone for $20 and include 17 channels including ESPN, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, and others. Featuring SportsCenter, NBA on TNT. Showtime is following HBO’s lead. I say cable is in the process of falling apart

  3. Apple’s strategy seems to be conquer TV one small piece at a time. It’s just Apple’s “hobby”; until one day, it’s not… 😉

    I previously posted a comment about using a version the new MacBook’s ultra-miniaturized logic board, with the same “Intel M” processor, for a new Mac mini with the footprint of the current Apple TV. Like old Mac OS X versions that had the Front Row app, it would have a built-in Apple TV app (and included IR remote control), to make it look and feel like using the current Apple TV. But as a Mac, it runs standard OS X apps (and games), making it the rumored “Apple TV with apps” without the need to create a whole new category of apps that are only for Apple TV. Price it at $299 (or $399). The $69 Apple TV mini-box also continues, for customers who just want the TV media player.

    With this optimized “media center” Mac, the customer can watch all the content Apple has gathered on Apple TV. And also watch Internet content that is accessible using a web browser, on web sites like ESPN, Hulu, YouTube, etc. Any web site. And play games that already exist for OS X.

  4. This is all great, but it doesn’t solve the problem that exists now that Comcast, Cox, CenturyLink, etc. have all imposed or are rolling out monthly data caps. Forget watching a few seasons of your favorite show on HBO or Netflix, not when you get hit with overage charges. This metering of the net has got to stop. Just when phone carriers are starting unlimited plans, the big ISPs are now imposing ridiculous data caps that will make anyone think twice about streaming shows and movies.

      1. It’s not throttling that’s the issue. It’s a monthly data cap. Once you burn through it, you get charged $10 per each 50 Gb increment over the cap. It’s not yet rolled out nationwide. The rep told me that it will be “soon.” I didn’t have it until just a few months ago when it was rolled out in my area.

        1. That’s a great big none issue.

          You used to pay for long distance telephone calls. The longer the distance the more the charge.

          For cell phones you pay when you go over your minute plan.

          You pay for gas when you run out.

          You pay for the amount of electricity you consume.

          You pay for the amount of natural gas and water you consume.

          You pay for the food you consume.

          The point is you pay for the products you consume. The more you consume the more value/utility you derived. It’s only fairs that those that consume more pay more, than the person that doesn’t.

          You’ll get no sympathy from me on that point.

          1. You work for Comcast? Don’t need or want your sympathy. You’re clearly still in 1999, not 2015. I don’t pay more for long distance calls, and I don’t pay more for going “over my minute plan.” (I have T-Mobile, so unlimited everything.) The trend for competitive internet is moving that direction. Competition is the genius of the American economic system and consumers always benefit. That’s why Comcast and others want to eliminate it, so they can continue to nickel and dime consumers to death.

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