[opendtv] Apple Said to Near Time Warner Cable Deal for TV Programs

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2013 11:22:09 -0400

Another potential deal that suggests the cable companies are growing more 
comfortable with the use of third party devices to access their MVPD networks. 
The trend appears to suggest that the MVPDs will open up their networks to a 
wider range of devices, as long as the customer continues to subscribe to an 
MVPD bundle.



Apple Said to Near Time Warner Cable Deal for TV Programs
By Adam Satariano & Alex Sherman - Jul 3, 2013 9:47 AM ET
Apple Said to Near Time Warner Cable TV Deal

Apple Inc. is nearing a deal with Time Warner Cable Inc. to give subscribers of 
the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV, people with 
knowledge of the negotiations said.

The companies plan to announce an agreement within a few months, said the 
people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The 
iPhone maker is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu LLC, 
where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to 
help Apple executives in negotiations with media and cable companies, two 
people with familiar with the matter said.

A deal with Time Warner Cable would be a first with a cable company for Apple, 
which said last month that it’s also adding content from Time Warner Inc.’s HBO 
and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN. Apple is aiming to bolster sales of the $99 set-top 
box amid competition from Roku Inc.’s device and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox. 
Meanwhile, media and service providers have been seeking more outlets to 
deliver shows to customers, who are opting for on-demand viewing and watching 
fewer scheduled shows.

“It’s not necessary for Apple to remake the media industry to sell a great TV 
product,” Benedict Evans, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London, said in an 
interview. “They are methodically adding to Apple TV.”

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, rose as much as 1.1 percent as of 9:43 
a.m. in New York, adding to a 2.3 percent gain yesterday after Bloomberg 
reported on the deal. Time Warner Cable increased less than 1 percent to 

TV Experience
The potential deal with Time Warner Cable shows Apple working within the 
existing pay-TV business model, rather than directly offering live TV 
programming. Media companies that own television shows and movies have been 
reluctant to sell content directly to online services because it could harm 
sales from cable and satellite operators.

Apple’s approach to television differs from Intel Corp., which is negotiating 
with media companies to build an Internet-based service that would compete more 
directly with cable and satellite companies.

Time Warner Cable has struck similar deals to make programming available 
through Roku’s online TV device and the Xbox gaming console. The second-largest 
U.S. cable provider also said last month it would start making programming 
available for some televisions made by Samsung Electronics Co. It also makes 
channels available for the iPhone, iPad and mobile devices running Google 
Inc.’s Android through its application called TWC TV.

“We don’t have an agreement with them at this time,” Susan Leepson, a 
spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable, wrote in an e-mail. She declined further 
comment. Meredith Kendall, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles-based Hulu, declined 
to comment. A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

Viewer Choice
Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt has been a vocal 
supporter of giving up control of the user interface to other companies if it 
gives paying subscribers a better TV viewing experience. While Time Warner 
Cable is introducing its own new TV guide later this year, Britt has said the 
company should give its customers the choice of other guides if they’re 

“We think that allowing people to get the very best experience is key 
competitively,” Britt said in August. “As long as they buy video from us, I 
don’t really care.”

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in May that more than 13 million Apple TVs have 
been sold since the device was released in 2007. Television is an area of 
“intense interest” to Apple, Cook said.

“When you look at the TV experience, it’s not an experience that I think very 
many people love,” Cook said at the D: All Things Digital technology 
conference. “It’s not one that has been brought up to date for this decade. 
It’s still an experience much like 10 years ago or 20 years ago.”

TV Shift
To bolster the effort, Apple is hiring Distad from Hulu. He led the online 
video service’s customer acquisition efforts and push to make the Hulu Plus 
application available on different Web-connected devices, including Apple TV. 
Before that, Distad was previously a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. He 
will report to Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of product 
marketing, whose team has done deals to add applications like Hulu Plus to 
Apple TV, one person said.

Apple TV has evolved from a way to watch TV shows and movies on iTunes to a 
device that offers access to additional paid and free content from other 
companies, including Netflix Inc., Google’s YouTube, Sky News and applications 
from U.S. sports leagues. Customers also can wirelessly stream pictures and 
video from iPhones and iPads to Apple TV through technology called AirPlay.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adam Satariano in San Francisco 
atasatariano1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; Alex Sherman in New York at 
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