Quantcast

Apple TV Set Could be Delayed by Cable Companies

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
Apple TV Set Could be Delayed by Cable Companies
[ Business]

Rumors of an Apple TV set have been flying a for over a year now. In recent weeks, some excitement for the product has even been built by rumors that the product is already being manufactured.

Whether or not that is actually the case, it is known that the “iTV” is on the way, and it’s is well-known that Apple is currently in talks with cable companies over distributing their content. An analyst who recently spoke with Apple executives has said that the outcome of those talks, unfortunately, could mean the difference between a sooner iTV release and a later one.

Fortune today quoted a memo by Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, stating that an iTV is “extremely unlikely in the near term.” Fortune quotes Hargreaves’ memo:

Relative to the television market, Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, reiterated the company’s mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems. The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view. While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue’s commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple’s perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model.

Unfortunately for Apple and for consumers, acquiring rights for traditional broadcast and cable network content outside of the current bundled model is virtually impossible because the content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content. The differences in regional broadcast content and the lack of scale internationally also create significant hurdles that do not seem possible to cross at this point.

It’s clear that Apple intends to revolutionize the TV industry the same way it did the music industry. To do this, though, Apple is going to have to break up the huge multi-channel packages cable companies currently offer. These are the same packages that keep many less-watched cable channels on the air. When a-la-carte viewing and pricing finally does come into effect, the cable industry will inevitably contract.

Whatever Apple is offering cable content distributors, they would be wise to take it, as it could be their only lifeline to a new business model. A contraction of the cable industry would be better for it than a future where it doesn’t exist, replaced by individual channels creating, marketing, and selling their own content. As entertainment shifts steadily toward streaming and social content, time is running out for cable companies to change direction on their own.

Apple TV Set Could be Delayed by Cable Companies
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Mike Smith

    Cable TV is an outdated content delivery vehicle. Apple should ignore cable TV, just pass it through like TV’s already do today, and focus entirely on content from the Internet. Almost everything is available from the Internet, so the question is only the user interface (maybe a new version of iTunes called “iTunes TV”, “iTunes Video, or just iVideo) and interfacing with an included “iPod remote”, the iPad, and the iPhone (just a throwing motion or two-fingered sliding motion toward your iTV transfers the content to it, automatically opening successive picture-in-picture and split-screen windows on the iTV, which you can maniuplate in size and position with the iTV screen that is reflected on your iDevice…).

    • http://jasonzakblog.blogspot.com Jason Zak

      Ever heard of the $99 Apple TV?