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No New Apple Television Products Coming in 2012 as Content Negotiations Stall Once Again

Bloomberg reports that Apple will not be releasing a new "TV product" this year as difficult negotiations with media companies have slowed Apple's plans. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Apple is working a new set-top box offering access to live and on-demand television content, but a timeframe for a release of the product was not given at that time. Apple has also been said to be working on its own television set, but apparently neither product will be making an appearance in the relatively near future.
Apple is vying with the likes of Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. to make TVs the digital hub of people’s lives in an industry projected to reach $200 billion worldwide by 2017. Whoever wins must first strike deals with media companies or cable providers who have little incentive to cede valuable revenue streams. The result: Apple won’t be releasing a new TV product this year, as analysts had predicted, said a person familiar with the company’s plans.
Negotiations between Apple and the media companies have reportedly stumbled over the software interface for any new television product from Apple, with cable companies wanting to have control over the software. The two sides are also at loggerheads over whether Apple would sell a new set-top box directly to consumers or if the device would be distributed by the cable companies.

The report also offers a rehashing of The Wall Street Journal's details on what the new set-top box would offer:
Since the middle of the last decade, Apple’s engineers have been working on a more advanced product to allow viewers to quickly find shows and movies, blending both live and recorded material, the people said. It would recommend content based on interests and work seamlessly with Apple’s family of other devices. An iPhone or iPad would double as a remote control, the people said.
Apple has reportedly been talking with cable companies since the original Apple TV's debut in 2007, but talks have repeatedly stalled over numerous issues. More recently, Apple is said to have focused on companies willing to offer Apple live content for streaming, with Time Warner Cable apparently being the major cable company most receptive to Apple's proposals.
Apple is furthest along negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc., said the people familiar with the talks. Yet even if Time Warner Cable agrees to a deal with Apple, it wouldn’t represent a radical change for customers, who would still pay their monthly cable bill.

Apple may be looking to Time Warner Cable to be its first partner in a similar way that AT&T Inc. helped bring the iPhone to market, one person said.
Beyond live content, Apple is also said to be pursuing substantial offerings of on-demand content, but media companies are wary of losing control of their content and the channel bundles offered through cable providers.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
Hey, another product that MR has been hyping up and proclaimed with certainty its coming only to back out at the 11th hour. Kinda like the iPad Mini that you guys guarenteed would be released 2 years ago and again last year?

In other news, the iPhone Mini is rumored to be in production. Here is a shoddy rendered picture. Trust us, its real....:rolleyes:
Rating: 14 Votes
29 months ago

Those content owners better get with the program or die out. Now wonder they call them the dinosaur networks!!


Or die out? How do you figure? They own the content that everyone wants.
Rating: 11 Votes
29 months ago
Go figure. There's never going to be an Apple TV besides the $99 set top box they already sell. Just people going back on their confirmations of earlier this year.

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Hey, another product that MR has been hyping up and proclaimed with certainty its coming only to back out when at the 11th hour. Kinda like the iPad Mini that you guys guarenteed would be released 2 years ago and again last year?

In other news, the iPhone Mini is rumored to be in production. Here is a shoddy rendered picture. Trust us, its real....:rolleyes:


Exactly.
Rating: 9 Votes
29 months ago
Note to Apple:

Stop playing around making "Toys" for people to play with.
Yes, I know toys make you a lot of money but you are neglecting your roots.

Ok, many people may not NEED real powerful computers any more, but that does not you should just give up pushing.

Please get back to the great company (tech wise, not money wise) you once were and push and push tech as hard as you can every single year so the whole world can move forward to better things.

Don't just dumb society down with easy to use toys, please.

Oh how I wish you were "cutting edge" for people's main computers once again.

One day, perhaps.......
Rating: 8 Votes
29 months ago

Hey, another product that MR has been hyping up and proclaimed with certainty its coming only to back out at the 11th hour. Kinda like the iPad Mini that you guys guarenteed would be released 2 years ago and again last year?

In other news, the iPhone Mini is rumored to be in production. Here is a shoddy rendered picture. Trust us, its real....:rolleyes:


iPad Mini is becoming the new powerbook G5
Rating: 7 Votes
29 months ago
Call me a pessimist, but these differences are major and will prevent any launch of an integrated tv product by any company for the foreseeable future, and I'm thinking in years here.

There just is no incentive for cable companies to go along. Now, for me, none of this matters very much because this is a US story, God knows when such a product would ever get to Europe (we're talking a hundred of these difficult partners in that case), but it's a shame for you guys.
Rating: 7 Votes
29 months ago
The problem is that what Apple TV hopefuls are asking is for the consumer to bear almost the entire cost of content production and profit margins. Producer selling direct to consumers. But consumers don't realise how much good content costs to make, how risky it is, or how much its worth in the current climate. The great Game of Thrones example is very illustrative. If it was sold at $3 an episode day and date with TV release it wouldn't make nearly so much money as it does now.

Content is produced to drive TV subscriptions, which drives viewers to other content which then drives ad revenue across hundreds of stations, many of them with low viewer appeal. Content is sold, en masse around the world to distributors who then take full risk and responsibility for monetizing it. A TV producer in LA does not want to have to worry about how to get high ratings in Dubai, he just want to sell it on for a high price to someone he knows will have the local energy and skill to exploit it and make a slim profit.

And of course, he doesn't just sell on one series. Distributors have to buy bundles of shows, most of which are the flops that still need to be paid for. Production is risky, and despite the best intentions and the best staff, viewer expectations race forward at the pace of only the very best productions and therefore failures are more common than successes.

Unfortunately consumers have been led to believe an episode is worth $2 or a whole series about $16. In their heads it might be half that or a third. This is because they don't realise that the sell-through at the end of the chain is just squeezing the last drop of juice out of a dry orange. The big money has already been made, and most likely spent on the next year's productions.

Take a look at all the content producers. They're just ticking over, doing reasonable business. Their margins aren't obscene, and in many cases quite thin. That should give the clue that they aren't going to slash revenue just for the 'disruption' of it. And if somebody slashes it for them the thing that's going to hurt is jobs and new commissions and ultimately viewer choice.

TV could go the same way as gaming (used to be). Pay big for an item you really want ignore what you don't. But that leads to low risk development. Churning out CoD and Fifa and Tomb Raider over and over, with the risk takers going bust one a week. I guess there's a reason games companies are edging away and looking for ways to be more like TV. Spread risk, subscriptions, multiple revenue streams. etc
Rating: 6 Votes
29 months ago

Negotiations between Apple and the media companies have reportedly stumbled over the software interface for any new television product from Apple, with cable companies wanting to have control over the software.


Yes, because Dish, Directv, comcast and others have all been highly successful at the software ran on their boxes. I mean, comcast has boxes out there that look like they run a form of DOS. As of right now while looking at all the different companies, it comes down to what system isn't a complete joke. None of them have been good although some are starting to improve.
Rating: 6 Votes
29 months ago
Although I understand the difficultities in coming to an agreement with the major US content providers, what I don't get is why Apple can't add BBC iPlayer to the Apple TV for us here in the UK since it's already available for virtually every other Internet connected device (provided you're in the UK).

I see no reason why they couldn't add it other than simply not wanting to add something on the basis that it's not for the US market which is backward to say the least.
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago
The joke is there's nothing to watch on TV in the first place ;)
Rating: 5 Votes

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