Is Apple Planning a Cable TV Coup?
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be laying the foundation for a revolutionary new type of television set in direct negotiations with content owners reports Quartz. Apple is reportedly frustrated with the slow pace of discussions with cable companies and has decided to do an end run around them by dealing directly with the content providers.
According to Quartz’s unnamed sources, Apple has held discussions with Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN, Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) HBO, and Viacom (NYSE:VIA). Although these companies represent only a small fraction of the total content available through cable, Apple believes that it will only need a few premium content providers in order to establish a viable television set product.
However, the Apple TV device currently available is a digital media receiver that can be attached to any television set — the planned iTV device would replace users’ TVs as well as their cable boxes. This would utterly supplant the current content distribution system that is dominated by cable companies.