Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple's New Vision for Apple TV 'Less Ambitious' Than Before

appletv.pngApple's plans for its revamped Apple TV have been scaled back compared to what the company had previously intended, reports The Wall Street Journal. According to the publication, Apple was originally approaching media companies directly to obtain content rights for an ambitious a-la-carte-Internet-enabled TV set-top box, but has since gone in a different direction.
In the current discussions, which involve at least two big media companies, Apple envisages working with cable companies, rather than competing against them, the people said. For programming, it would rely on cable providers to acquire programming rights from media companies, rather than acquire them on its own, the people said. Apple might consider seeking some rights directly in the future, one of the people said.
Apple had been trying to negotiate with companies like CBS and Disney to offer the networks' content directly to Apple customers over the Internet, cutting out cable and satellite providers like Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV. However, the media companies consistently pulled out of negotiations, fearing that any potential deal with Apple could damage their revenue streams.

Apple's ambitious plans went even further, as the company hoped to erase the distinction between live and on-demand TV, allowing users to watch any show at any time via iCloud as well as being able to skip commercials. In addition, Apple explored the possibility of paying media companies more for ad-free TV.

Having abandoned those lofty ideas in the face of failed negotiations, Apple is now asking content providers for the last five episodes of any given show rather than an entire season. This structure is similarly used by Hulu and is considered a standard amongst TV show streaming services.
Apple's latest approach is far less ambitious. Instead of asking for full current seasons of shows, it is asking programmers for just the most recent five episodes of current-season shows—the standard for video-on-demand services in the TV industry, a person familiar with the matter said. Apple is also proposing to disable fast-forwarding on shows for three days after they air, which would protect TV channels.
The Wall Street Journal also suggests that it is unclear whether Apple will sell its own box or allow cable distributors to lease boxes to customers when the company is able to establish a deal for a television service.

Apple has long been in negotiations with Time Warner Cable for some sort of television-related product, with a recent report suggesting talks are ongoing. Apple may run into some trouble reaching a deal with TWC, however, as Comcast has reportedly inked a deal to purchase the company.

Apple may be planning to unveil a redesigned Apple TV box in April, which is rumored to include both app and game support, but it is unclear whether that product will also offer new television-related content.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

7 months ago

At this point, Apple should just take Apple TV out back and shoot it.

I own 3 of them and they are really getting long in the tooth. The UI is terrible and slow. Netflix barely works on it anymore.


Which version ATV are you using with a Netflix that "barely works on it" anymore? I've never heard of such a thing and it sounds like utter ******** to me so I'm curious. :)
Rating: 47 Votes
7 months ago
If Steve were alive, he would have gotten the deal done. He's probably the only one that could have gotten that deal done though.
Rating: 35 Votes
7 months ago
At this point, Apple should just take Apple TV out back and shoot it.

I own 3 of them and they are really getting long in the tooth. The UI is terrible and slow. Netflix barely works on it anymore.

The Roku 3 can do nearly everything the Apple TV can do, plus it has a better remote and it works with Amazon Prime.
Rating: 22 Votes
7 months ago
I want:
iCloud with unlimited storage, let iCloud record all channels for you to your own iCloud space. Go to a particular day of TV programming by using Time Machine for iCloud TV. Streamed to my iPad. Easily search for an episode by typing in "Breaking Bad s03e12" in Spotlight. Only $99/year.
.
.
.
and I also want to touch Olivia Wilde.
Rating: 22 Votes
7 months ago
I don't often say that Apple should follow Google, but they should bypass cable companies altogether and go the Google Fiber route. They really need to stop being an aggregator for cable companies and be the source if cable companies aren't willing to play ball.

----------

So this would be Microsoft winning. XBox One already does this stuff.


...For 5x the price of an Apple TV.
Rating: 20 Votes
7 months ago

So this would be Microsoft winning. XBox One already does this stuff.


At 5 times the price, in a more complicated way, without AirPlay. Right.
Rating: 16 Votes
7 months ago

If Steve were alive, he would have gotten the deal done. He's probably the only one that could have gotten that deal done though.


Steve wasn't a messiah... He was a man. There will be better and there will be worse.
Rating: 15 Votes
7 months ago
So this would be Microsoft winning. XBox One already does this stuff.
Rating: 15 Votes
7 months ago
How is less ambitious good? These media companies need to realize that what the WWF did is the most amazing service ever. More to the point, cable companies need to realize what AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile realized, they are just dumb pipes for us.
Rating: 15 Votes
7 months ago
This is so disappointing.
Rating: 11 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]