Apple’s Internet TV opportunity: Nearly half want to cut the cable cord

“Here’s the conundrum for Apple Inc. as it develops a streaming television service to challenge cable TV: Can it offer the right mix of channels to unleash a new wave of cord-cutting?” Trey Williams askss for MarketWatch.

“A survey from Baird Equity Research firm found 46% of consumers are interested in cutting cable television, or at least some services. Only 15% of the respondents had actually done so,” Williams reports. “‘We suspect Apple could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and could accelerate the move away from cable, its analysts wrote in a note on Wednesday. Counters Bryan Kraft, an analyst for Deutsche Bank: ‘While no one wants all the channels, everyone wants all the channels they want.'”

“Only some of those make the list of the country’s most popular channels. Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, Fox News Channel and USA were those watched most frequently in the week ended March 15, according to total-day viewership from Nielsen,” Williams reports. “ESPN was sixth, and the ability to watch live sporting events is one reason dropping cable has been so difficult for many. Still, the Baird survey found 56% of Americans are dissatisfied with the cost of their cable package.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously the right channel lineup is crucial. Here’s hoping Apple can land enough deals with the right outlets – and at the right price – to really break the camel’s back.

Related articles:
Apple Internet TV service could generate $30 billion per year – March 18, 2015
U.S. DOJ could force Comcast to offer NBCUniversal content for Apple’s Internet TV service – March 18, 2015
Apple looks to blow up the cable TV model – March 18, 2015

22 Comments

  1. Channel lineup? Who gives a fuck about channel lineup? I don’t watch channels, I watch TV shows, movies, documentaries and sometimes event type broadcasting like news or sports. I don’t need channels — I need a service that lets me pick the specific broadcasts, sometimes on the fly. And/or that can select new broadcasts randomly based on my viewing preferences.

    For instance, I don’t need a “sports” channel, or multiple ones. I just want to get a service that lets me select the broadcast of one specific sporting event at a time. The point being that the vast majority of sports out there do not interest me, but some few specific events DO.

    1. Then I guess you can just keep waiting for true a la carte programming. In the meantime, a value priced reasonable channel lineup is the next step in this process.

      But I get your point, too. I don’t need ESPN, because I have MLB.TV. I just don’t see many other programs leaving their channel lineup in the way you want any time soon.

    2. I think that there are a lot of people out there that want the 300 channels so that they can surf around but, for me, I like the way that you think. I watch shows. I don’t care about the network. Except for sports – then I watch a genre. The Tennis Channel does a nice job of supporting that. I get ESPN3 which is nice but I only watch tennis on it. It provides a ton of other sports but I don’t watch them. I don’t think that Apple can provide service to that level of granularity yet as things are setup business-wise as networks. The closest thing would be to buy individual shows on iTunes. Perhaps Apple could do iTunes TV show packaging – watch some number of shows from iTunes for a fixed price each month.

      Networks will resist this kicking and screaming.

  2. Nobody has been able to answer my question yet: If this hypothetical Apple Internet TV service does become a reality, what will Apple’s answer be when the Comcraps of the world start capping data or throttling download speeds in retaliation?

      1. With that said, I expect that MY response (without needing Apple’s help) would be to threaten (and follow through with, if necessary) suit (class action, anyone?) against Comcast for not providing the service I’m paying them for.

      1. This is what I think is very (very!) interesting about this rumor, as it didn’t surface until after the FCC’s Title II stuff went forward.

        And couple it with rumors of how Boeing is supposedly in discussions with a ‘Tech Giant’ for communication satellite(s), the paradigm shift here could be (yes, highly speculative) that Apple’s thinking about becoming an ISP by using a DirectTV-style technology where the dish also includes a high speed uplink too.

        This sort of technology would be able to accomplish “last mile” distribution with very minimal infrastructure deployment costs, which is what has been the factor of “Natural Monopolies” which have allowed the Duopoly (Cable + Phone) to exist and keep out competition.

        In thinking about it this way, I’d very seriously consider buying an “Apple Dish” to mount on my roof to then have a nice bandwidth connection and a “slim” TV package … assuming of course that the price is also right.

        1. I have a very reasonable rate from my Comcast for $44.99 per month for 30 down, unlimited bandwidth (so far) and my employer picks up the tab. Apple as an ISP would have to come in around that price or lower for me to consider switching as there can be issues with Satellite as your ISP.

          1. Comcast varies regionally. Locally (urban area of NJ), to get 25 down is $66/month plus some extra fees & taxes which bring it up to roughly $80/month … but they’ll graciously knock $25/mo off that during the promo period (which at $55/mo is still more than what you’re paying)

            1. I had a promotional rate of $29.99 for 2014 after five hours of negotiations with Comcast. Their regular rate is $68 here too. I thought that they’d bump me to $68 for 2015 but they just bumped me to $44.99 – I’m more than pleased with that. I don’t really want to spend a lot of time negotiating again. I think that I get excellent service for the money (which I’m not paying for).

  3. Regarding channel selection, assuming other things such as price are in consumers’ interest:

    1. A reasonable channel selection will attract the customers
    2. Slim channels are more comfortable than all.

    then Later.
    3. Apple may add channels. Lots of them. Choose more as u like. The main thing is – Apple is going in.

    1. I just hope that when they add lots more channels, they are optional “app” downloads so I don’t have to hide them like on the current Apple TV. A “Channel Store” is long overdue already.

  4. I cut the cord when I separated from my wife. Currently I have a cable modem, where I get Netflix and HBO Go (ahem–don’t ask how!), plus a few other things…. Anyway I was worried about losing ESPN especially, but in 6 months I really haven’t missed it at all. Oddly I don’t miss sports at all when I don’t have it around, and I don’t waste much time at all watching TV. I consider it a very very good thing! Doubt I’ll pay anything going forward for a cable “bundle”.

    1. Yea, I’ve cut way back on TV. 90% is crap and don’t need to hear about other stranger’s drama, got enough in my life.
      Better documentaries, technical shows and maybe a Travel Channel that actually covers vacations and destinations around the world.

    1. The other big issue is getting rid of “TV remotes” which break, lock up the TV/cable box and run out of juice at the wrong time.

      There is no reason to control entertainment with anything but an iPhone or iPad.

      I can’t see a reason for a dedicated “TV” anymore. It makes no sense, unless one is addicted to channel hopping.

      1. No dedicated TV? Really?

        It must be because watching “tv” on a 3-4-5-6-7-11 inch screen is so much better than 30-40-50-60 inch screen.

        Give me a sofa or recliner and a large television screen over a small mobile device screen 95 times out of 100.

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