Apple in Talks with Comcast to Provide Streaming TV Service on Future Apple TV

Apple is in talks with Comcast about using the cable provider's network for a streaming TV service to be integrated in a future version of the Apple TV, reports The Wall Street Journal. According to the report, Apple's set top-box would be able to access Comcast's wide variety of channels for a monthly subscription, with the Apple TV receiving "special treatment" from Comcast when connected to its cable network to ensure that it would bypass congestion on the Internet for optimal streaming.

apple_tv_splash_2014

Apple's intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the "cloud," effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box.

...Under the plan Apple proposed to Comcast, Apple's video streams would be treated as a "managed service" traveling in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone service. Those services travel on a special portion of the cable pipe that is separate from the more congested portion reserved for public Internet access.

People familiar with the matter said that while Apple would like a separate "flow" for its video traffic, it isn't asking for its traffic to be prioritized over other Internet-based services.

The report also adds that Apple and Comcast are still in early discussions, and that Apple's ultimate goal would be to ensure that Apple TV users receive the same quality that Comcast's regular cable boxes receive. Apple has proposed to Comcast that users would sign onto the new device using an existing or new Apple ID, and asked for a cut of the monthly subscriptions paid for by customers.

Apple has traditionally positioned the Apple TV as a "hobby product" with occasional refreshes adding new features. In January 2014 however, Apple revamped its online storefront adding a new category for the Apple TV alongside the categories for the Mac, iPhone, and iPod product lines suggesting that the product may be moving out of the hobby status assigned to it.

CEO Tim Cook also revealed during the company's 2014 shareholders meeting that the Apple TV generated $1 billion last year, noting it was "a little more difficult to call [the Apple TV] a hobby these days" given its growth.

Apple is expected to launch a new Apple TV sometime in the near future, with some rumors pointing to a refined set-top box that may include gaming and cable box-like capabilities. The move would also come as Comcast announced that it would be merging with Time Warner Cable in February, which Apple was reported to be in talks with for quite some time to provide TV shows and other media.

Update: The Information has shared more details on Apple's future set-top box, stating that the device will feature a "dramatically overhauled interface" which will blend TV listings with apps and video from the web. The report also notes that the next-generation Apple TV will place a "big emphasis" on gaming, with Apple asking developers of iOS games to make their titles compatible with its new product so that users can play games on their TV screen using iOS devices as controllers.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: wsj.com
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

kds1 Avatar
99 months ago
This is progress? No thank you. The whole point of AppleTV (at least for me) is to NOT have cable. I'm a cord cutter. What's the use if the cable company is still in play? Forget it. I'd like to see cable television go out of business some day!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
impulse462 Avatar
99 months ago
I hate Comcast.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dissonance Avatar
99 months ago
That'll be the day...

Apple and Comcast are absolute opposites. I can't imagine them ever collaborating on anything without Comcast completely screwing it up.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
99 months ago
Apple's ultimate goal would be to ensure that Apple TV users receive the same quality that Comcast's regular set-top TV boxes receive.

Apple should aim much higher than that....
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pheenix11 Avatar
99 months ago
Don't waste your time Apple. No one wants more Comcast, they want less.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
99 months ago
Uh-oh

I'm not sure I like the direction this is taking. We're supposed to be bypassing things like Comcast and connect directly with the media creators. :(

With such deals taking place, Apple are giving more strength to content providers which are the useless middlemen of the 21st century. :mad:

Can you imagine making deals with Sony so that iTunes can connect to SonyMusic servers instead of selling the music files directly to you? That's what Apple are doing with the TV providers if this is true.

It's going to get messy, especially for international customers and probably even within big countries like the USA and Canada where exclusive deals are done by states/provinces or even counties/regions.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Data Breach Included Personal Information of Almost 50 Million Customers

Wednesday August 18, 2021 5:41 am PDT by
T-Mobile has issued a statement with further details about a cyberattack that the company confirmed earlier this week, confirming that the data breach included the personal information of almost 50 million current, former, and prospective customers. Late last week, T-Mobile confirmed that a forum post that purported to offer data from more than 100 million people was the result of a company...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...