Apple Shows Interest in Buying Time Warner Assets for Streaming TV Service

apple_logo_time_warnerTime Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes reportedly told investors on Monday that he would entertain a sale of the media company, and Apple is a possible suitor, according to the New York Post. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, and Fox are also said to have shown interest.

Eddy Cue, one of Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s top lieutenants, in charge of content deals, has been keeping tabs on proceedings at Time Warner, a source close to Apple said.

Time Warner owns a large number of assets that could lay the foundation for Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service, including CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network and its Warner Bros. division. A deal could allow Apple to offer a skinny bundle of channels airing popular TV shows for all ages like Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street, Silicon Valley and Veep.

Apple's streaming TV service has reportedly been placed on hold due to its difficulties in securing deals with content owners, but striking a deal with Time Warner would allow the company to reconsider offering a skinny bundle of channels through a Netflix-like service for Apple TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other devices.

Apple has previously been in talks with CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, Viacom, Discovery and others about launching a web-based streaming service that would bundle approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, but content owners have been reluctant to give up control of the living room up to this point.

For now, fourth-generation Apple TV owners can stream select on-demand content from tvOS apps like ABC News, CNNgo, Fox NOW, HBO NOW, MLB.TV Premium, NBC Sports Live Extra, PBS, PBS Kids, USA NOW, Watch ABC and WatchESPN, but most require authenticating with a cable or satellite TV subscription.

Top Rated Comments

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62 months ago

This is great news, but I still think $30/$40 is too much for a service like this, especially since Netflix is only $9.

Totally incomparable services.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
Time Warner and Time Warner Cable are two separate non-related companies (TWC spun off of TW in 2009). The logo you're showing up there belongs to Time Warner Cable. So this merger wouldn't have anything to do with TWC's internet or cable packages, just TimeWarner's media properties.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
This is great news, but I still think $30/$40 is too much for a service like this, especially since Netflix is only $9.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago
This will all seem so silly in 5 years. Anybody that's owned an Appletv or roku knows bundled cable tv is dead, it just doesn't know it yet.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago

This is great news, but I still think $30/$40 is too much for a service like this, especially since Netflix is only $9.

Why is this great news? What does Apple/Eddy Cue know about running cable channels and content businesses? As a shareholder I'm not convinced putting Eddy Cue in charge of Apple M&A is such a great idea. So far a lot we've gotten out of Beats is a mediocre streaming music service and that clown Jimmy Iovine.

I hope apple does buy something here, but only to get the industry to change. Once the industry loosens the grip on content, Apple should immediately spin it off. Tim may have different ideas, but in mind Apple is good at products and software (their services still needs work), but I don't know how good Apple would be at content.

I'm not sure why Apple wants to become Sony. Seems to me Apple's goal should be the best platform for others to put their content on. The industry is already changing. Apple just needs to bide it's time.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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62 months ago

Netflix has absolutely nothing to do with what Time Warner offers. You can't get network TV on Netflix, no other cable TV channel's, etc. All you can get is old crappy movies which is why its only $9/month. Your argument is totally invalid.

Huh? I watch a ton of CBS, CW and NBC on Netflix. I also watch a ton of cable TV shows including Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who etc. Since when is Netflix only old crappy movies????
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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