Apple Is In Talks With Comcast About Doing A Web-Based TV Service

Apple CEO Tim Cook left, Apple SVP Eddy Cue, right. Cue has been the primary dealmaker for iTunes-related content (Photo: Getty)

Apple is talking to Comcast about using Apple TV as a cable box that streams video, according to a new report from Shalini Ramachandran, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Amol Sharma at the Wall Street Journal.

The talks are still in preliminary stages, and seem uncertain to happen. The WSJ says, “Apple and Comcast aren’t close to an agreement.”

Here is what Apple is talking to Comcast about doing.

Apple wants to stream live, and on-demand TV content to Apple TV owners. It would store all the content, including video recording in the cloud.

Apple wants to get “special treatment” from Comcast so that its Internet-based video streams don’t encounter the same sort of congestion that other Internet content would hit, according to the WSJ. Apple doesn’t want any users bumping into buffering or streaming issues.

To deliver a high quality TV service, Comcast would have to invest in its own network.

Comcast subscribers who get their television service through an Apple TV would log-in using an Apple ID, the same Apple ID people use for buying apps and music from Apple. Comcast isn’t thrilled with the idea of Apple controlling its customers.

Apple would seek a cut of the subscription revenue from Comcast subscribers.

Even if Comcast wanted to do this deal, it’s unclear it could happen. Apple has to secure rights from TV networks to do a service like this, says the WSJ.

The whole thing sounds messy and complicated. It also seems like a relatively small business for Apple.

From Comcast’s perspective, the WSJ says there is a fear that it’s continuing to lose subscribers, and people don’t want to pay for TV. Teaming up with Apple, which has a track record of delivering high quality, addictive consumer products, would keep people paying for TV from Comcast.

More to come …

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