"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).
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."