Years of halting negotiations with cable companies haven’t gotten Apple much closer to its grand vision for television. But a newer strategy of talking directly to content providers seems more promising.
Apple is negotiating with production studios and networks to provide content for a television set that would emphasize apps over cable TV, according to people familiar with those discussions. Among the companies that have talked to Apple are Disney’s ESPN, Time Warner’s HBO, and Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.
It’s unclear how close these deals are to fruition. Some people cautioned that, with the TV industry in such flux, “everybody is talking with everybody.” Any deal with an internet TV service like the one envisioned by Apple is likely to be under similar terms as the networks have negotiated with traditional cable companies.
There is no reason for any channel not to be an “app” on your Apple TV or Roku.
Actually, at least two reasons. One is that the networks are basically cowards, afraid to disrupt their current model of losing viewers to the internet. The second is fear of retribution from the cable and satellite companies. I don’t know of any for certain going on behind the scenes, but I can certain picture Rupert Murdoch making it known that anyone putting their stuff live on Apple TV might find themselves off of his DirecTV service.
I can see the day coming, but it’s going to be a long and nasty fight to get there.