WSJ: Apple in talks with cable providers to bring live TV to set-top box
Rather than appealing directly to studios, as it’s done in the past, Apple is now trying to convince some of the biggest U.S. cable providers to deliver live TV to a branded set-top box, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple sells a $99 Apple TV box that lets users access some Internet video on their television sets, but not live channels supplied by cable operators. Whether the device under discussion is an iteration of that hardware or a more sophisticated box is unclear.
Two people briefed on the matter said the technology involved could ultimately be embedded in a television. Apple has worked on prototypes for televisions in the past, according to people briefed on the projects.
But despite ongoing talks with industry giants like Time Warner Cable, Apple has made little headway, the Journal said.
The two sides have danced around each other for years, say people familiar with the cable companies’ thinking. Cable operators in the past were worried that Apple could erode their relationship with their customers if Apple had a role with the box.
Cable executives have also said that historically weak sales of the Apple TV meant striking a deal to put live programming through the box hasn’t been a priority. Operators have put more emphasis on apps for the popular iPad tablet.
Apple reportedly considered partnering with cable companies two years ago but decided against it because then-CEO Steve Jobs thought it would be problematic, mostly because cable providers don’t have national reach.