Report Reveals that Apple is Negotiating Directly with Providers for New TV Product
In a recent bid to break a stalemate in its attempt to release a full-fledged television set, Apple has supposed brought ESPN, HBO and Viacom to the table and is negotiating directly with content providers rather than cable companies. As the Cupertino California company moves closer to release its rumored television set, Apple is said to have changed its go-to-market strategy, bypassing cable companies that have long balked at Apple’s terms in favor of direct negotiations with content providers.
The negotiations reportedly center on a new, Apple-branded television set rather than the company’s existing Apple TV product. Apple is said to be willing to enter the market even without a majority of the content providers signing on. It is betting that small amount of high-quality content will drive enough consumer demand for the product that the rest will have little choice but to follow as a result.
The report suggests that Apple may be willing to go as far as becoming a virtual cable company itself, mirroring rumors leading up to the iPhone launch in 2007 that Apple would form a Mobile Virtual Operator (MVNO), to provide mobile telephony services for its new device. The report notes that Sony, Google and Intel are considering similar options for their own television strategies.
Apple and Viacom refused to comment specifically on the negotiations while ESPN’s Chris LaPlaca said “there are no formal discussions taking place” and HBO’s Jeff Cusson mentioned they “have no plans to go over the top or to enter these markets in a different way.”
Reportedly an Apple television set would follow the company’s iOS platform concept with a focus around content apps, moving away from the traditional channel mode. Apple might also offer cross-app search functionality, further abstracting the content from the specific providers. The report continues to link recent Apple acquisition of content aggregator Matcha.tv, revealed earlier this month, as well as Apple’s rumored $280 million offer for PrimeSense, the Israeli firm whose technology is behind Microsoft’s Kinect to Apple’s evolving television strategy.
We’ll have to see how things turn out in the future though when more concrete information is revealed.