Apple and Comcast In Talks to Bring Streaming TV to Apple TV
Just one month after signing a deal with Netflix to give preferential network treatment to Netflix data, Comcast is working on another streaming content deal. This time, they’re not just the network provider looking for a cut. They want to stream content to Apple TV to allow the both companies to compete with Netflix.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the plan is for Apple TV customers to pay a monthly subscription fee to get access to live streamed TV channels through Comcast along with access to Comcast’s on-demand offerings and a cloud-based DVR.
This would be a major part of a long-rumoured overhaul of Apple TV. The device/service has long been rumoured to be getting a big unveiling event by Apple but none has materialized yet. Rumours suggest that the TV streaming service added to Apple TV would be announced as part of a next-gen Apple TV device with a user interface update that would put TV listings together with offerings from streaming apps and web videos. iOS gaming would also come to Apple TV with that update which would jive with Apple’s rumoured entry into the gaming console market.
The reason why Apple is partnering with Comcast as opposed to trying it on its own is for the same reason why Netflix signed a deal with Comcast last month. Were Apple to partner with Comcast to provide a streaming TV subscription service, they would get preferential bandwidth treatment on Comcast’s network. It’s a little different from the Netflix deal because it would technically be streaming Comcast’s own content to its own customers but that’s using a legal technicality to get around net neutrality.
My first instinct is to ask how Comcast benefits from this deal but with more and more people dropping cable for legal (Netflix, Amazon TV) and illegal (downloads and video sites) online services, Comcast is trying to bring customers back into the fold. The risk is that the Apple/Comcast subscription deal is so good that they cannibalize their traditional cable subscriptions as people jump ship from Comcast cable to Comcast streaming on Apple TV. I guess that’s why negotiations are still ongoing rather final.
Source: Mac Rumors