Last year, as rumors of an Apple HDTV were coming in weekly, the project was reportedly put on hold as cable companies balked. Companies such as Time Warner and Comcast, which has established (and often region-exclusive) distribution channels, were not yet willing for Apple to drag the cable industry into the online future the way it did for the music industry. This week, it appears that Apple is finally making some headway, at least with one cable operator.
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple and Time Warner Cable (TWC) are closing in on a deal to allow TWC subscribers to access cable channels from Apple TV devices. Bloomberg’s unnamed “people with knowledge of the negotiations” said the companies will reportedly announce the deal “within a few months.” The report also cites two unnamed sources “familiar with the matter” as saying Apple will hire Pete Distad, SVP of marketing and distribution at Hulu, to help its cause with cable companies.
Last month, Apple announced that both WatchESPN and HBO Go had been added to Apple TV. Those channels join Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming options already on the platform, and WatchESPN supplements the sports programming Apple TV already offers through deals with the MLB, NBA, and NHL.
TWC announced last month that a TWC TV app will be coming to Xbox 360 consoles later this year, enabling the same type of streaming Apple TVs are rumored to be getting. Streaming TWC programming on an Xbox 360 will require a subscription to both TWC and Xbox Live Gold.