More on Apple: Skepticism follows Comcast report

"It’s difficult to imagine a world in which Comcast would give up its network and control of customers that are streaming data through such a service," writes TechCrunch's Ryan Lawler, demonstrating the skepticism that has followed the WSJ's report about Apple's (AAPL +1.1%) TV service talks with Comcast.

In addition to doubts about Comcast's support, there are questions about Apple's ability to reach deals with TV network owners. Intel's pay-TV ambitions were derailed by a failure to reach such deals; Verizon, which bought Intel's TV unit, is hoping to launch a Web TV service with the help of FiOS' existing deals.

Also: Many think regulators would scrutinize an arrangement that provides Apple's services with dedicated network capacity.

One of the WSJ's sources states Apple and Comcast aren't close to a deal, with differences over customer control and data remaining an issue. In addition, the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal is said to have stalled talks between Apple and TWC to have a next-gen Apple TV set-top support TWC's content (a much simpler proposition).

9to5 Mac has reported a new Apple TV set-top could arrive in 1H14. iLounge and others have reported the device will feature game controller support.

Skepticism or not, Comcast set-top supplier Arris (ARRS -6.1%) is down sharply amid a tech selloff.

Update: Dan Rayburn reports no TV service talks between Apple and Comcast are currently happening. "From sources I have spoken to, no such deal between Apple and Comcast is being considered today, the way the WSJ describes it."

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Comments (20)
  • Skeptic84
    , contributor
    Comments (1403) | Send Message
    "It’s difficult to imagine a world in which Comcast would give up its network and control of customers that are streaming data through such a service,"


    LOL. Reminds me of what the pundits were saying about rumored carrier accommodations to Apple prior to the iPhone release. VZW turned their back on APPL. ATT made accommodations. Think VZW would go the same way again?
    24 Mar 2014, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • Eric Jhonsa
    , contributor
    Comments (1276) | Send Message
    That situation was a little different. The AT&T deal gave Apple control of the UI and app distribution, but they didn't gain control of the whole customer relationship.


    iPhone users are still subscribed to AT&T's mobile services. Whereas users would be signed up for Apple's TV services if the WSJ report panned out.
    24 Mar 2014, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • K1smet
    , contributor
    Comments (592) | Send Message
    I note that the above article is without attribution. Did SA Editor Eric Jhonsa write it? Seems most SA writers fall into two groups - those who hate Apple and want it to fail and those who don't understand Apple or Apple's legions of customers ALL of whom want the best product - not the best price. Build quality counts and so does the public's perception.


    Count me as one who would like to have an Apple TV in his home. It will be a total system that can play any movie any time, provide real-time programming, allow music when not being viewed, serve as a game 'board' and a host of other things. And it WILL sell like crazy - just like an iWatch will if it incorporates the many features we've been reading about. For the "herd" a Samsung device is good enough. Apple's customers want a bit more than "good enough".
    24 Mar 2014, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • rrose39
    , contributor
    Comments (1077) | Send Message
    Nevertheless, the point is valid.


    It appears (at least to me) that Apple is more cognizant than Comcast as to what viewers actually want.


    It also appears that Comcast doesn't give a rat's a** what its consumers want, and will continue to shove 1000 useless channels down our throats "because they can".


    Remember Lily Tomlin's famous line when posing as a telephone operator?


    "We're the telephone company. We don't care. Because we don't have to."


    Well newsflash, Comcast, you do need to care what your consumers actually want, or you will continue to lose them in droves.
    24 Mar 2014, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • rrose39
    , contributor
    Comments (1077) | Send Message
    My comment above refers back to SA Editor Jhonsa's comment.
    24 Mar 2014, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13765) | Send Message


    If you want to see just how lame Comcast is, try calling support and have them explain their "XFINITY Purchases App".


    Comcast XFINITY has no less than 8 apps, all for slightly different consumption models.


    They have "XFINITY TV Go" (which is cool btw) for watching on demand, and download content. However you can't purchase, rent or watch purchased, rented content on that app, you need the "XFINITY Purchases App" for that. :\


    If that's not kooky enough for you, I just got their X1 set-top box. This baby has it's own app for the cloud DVR..


    I called to ask about using the "XFINITY Purchases App" and finally gave up after being passed around like a a bottle of sangria.
    24 Mar 2014, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • PeteOptions
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
    Both the 9to5mac & ilounge reports you cite are from January and are not new
    24 Mar 2014, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • lost money
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
    Apple will hit $1000 soon... keep injecting negativity!
    24 Mar 2014, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Dukester
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
    Didn't Comcast and Netflix already make a deal? If so why couldn't Apple?
    24 Mar 2014, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • rrose39
    , contributor
    Comments (1077) | Send Message
    I agree. This is not rocket science, and if Netflix can do it, so can Apple.
    24 Mar 2014, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • rickraphael
    , contributor
    Comments (345) | Send Message
    Apple already has a deal with HBO and many deals with Disney to provide on the go services to their existing client base. Look a the channel lineup on an Apple TV which grows every month. Why do you think they have Korean channels on Apple TV?


    People forget that when Jobs developed Pixar over ten years he learned how to make deals with content providers in Hollywood. His next move after coming back to Apple was iTunes and the first foray into content distribution which is the name of the game in music, film and TV. If own can't own the property rights, get a piece of the the distribution channel.


    He must have thought, let Microsoft have Win and Office distribution world wide on many platforms. That's small change. Let's bring entertainment content distribution to the Apple system and rule the world. It's a much larger pie. And that's where Apple is going.
    24 Mar 2014, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • rrose39
    , contributor
    Comments (1077) | Send Message
    The problem with the "deal" that Apple has with HBO is that, in order to utilize that capability, the consumer must already be a paying HBO subscriber via Comcast or Time Warner.


    It's not a free-standing deal at all. And thus, it is unacceptable, at least to me.
    24 Mar 2014, 05:08 PM Reply Like
  • rickraphael
    , contributor
    Comments (345) | Send Message
    In order to get HBO through Apple TV you have to have an iTunes account. Apple then gets HBO’s sub list. HBO gets nothing. Same for Netflix, ESPN, etc.
    24 Mar 2014, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • larry11
    , contributor
    Comments (102) | Send Message
    Apple will partner with a cable operator be it Time Warner or Comcast for a new TV product.
    Count on it !
    24 Mar 2014, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • dkrieb
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
    Cable companies are on a downward trend. If I were Comcast I'd be one of the first to team up with Apple and innovate. The internet will eventually marginalize cable providers and their monopoly.
    24 Mar 2014, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2352) | Send Message
    Whether it's Comcast or not, Apple will continue to be the innovator in the living room & make dough doing it.
    24 Mar 2014, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • George Orwelll
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
    If not Comcast and TWC, then Apple can offer the deal to AT&T who competes with both. The configuration would not be the same given that AT&T does not have co-ax going to the homes. If Apple can develop an approach to work with AT&T and have AT&T interested (like the first iPhone) then Apple would have more negotiating room with Comcast.
    24 Mar 2014, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • kimboslice
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
    Apple can sell streaming movies and content a la carte with AppleTV. This is the way of the future.


    Many people are "cutting the cord" of cable because they are pissed off paying $60-$90 per month for content they hate. Many are buying Mohu TV antennas and pairing with Roku or AppleTV.


    Seriously, who the hell actually wants to pay for crap like MTV, TLC, ESPN, Disney, MSNBC, and other garbage?


    I would however not mind paying for some shows and movies a la carte, or even a channel or two a la carte to go with my free HDTV with my antenna.
    25 Mar 2014, 02:13 AM Reply Like
  • User66224
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
    Have to agree. I already pay $160+ a la carte + package for Satellite. Started with Comcast and the services cheesed me so much I switched. After three years I tried Comcast again, and again service was sub- standard. At the price I'm willing to pay I won't put up with that plus the substandard menu+DVR options. My point being I'm willing to pay for content and I'll pay a little more for a better interface, just not with Comcast. I know the stoy is Apple +Comcast , but for gosh sakes I hope it trickles out to the other providers.
    4 Apr 2014, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • Tradevestor
    , contributor
    Comments (5014) | Send Message
    Comcast or not, this is sure to happen
    26 Mar 2014, 05:57 PM Reply Like
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