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

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Time 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.

Article Link: Apple Shows Interest in Buying Time Warner Assets for Streaming TV Service
 
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ButteryScrollin

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Jul 29, 2014
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I'm really hoping they can work out something for the TV streaming service, would love to have everything through the Apple TV.
This seems a little pie-in-the-sky.

Also worth pointing out that all this TV stuff is coming from the Murdoch owned NYP, who, with Fox, has it's own interests in the TV area.
 
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2010mini

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Jun 19, 2013
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I'm really hoping they can work out something for the TV streaming service, would love to have everything through the Apple TV.
This seems a little pie-in-the-sky.
I know how you feel. FanTV had the same kind of deal with TWC. they had the best streaming set top box and UI. But TWC did its best to keep it hidden from its customer base.
 
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whawhat

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2006
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Would love to see Apple shake-up the tv industry but agree, $30/month is still too high. TWC currently offers a skinny bundle in NYC w. 20 local channels plus showtime/starz + free roku box as a $10 add-on to $39 internet. Not bad. Apple needs to come in at around $10-15/month to make it worthwhile.
 

noktulo

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Mar 18, 2013
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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.
 

2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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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 my 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.
 
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Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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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.
 

BuffaloTF

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Jun 10, 2008
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So would Apple actually own these channels or just have the rights to stream them? If they provided these channels for free via Apple TV or iDevices, I wonder if they could make up the cost through hardware sales. That would really change the TV landscape.
From the direction of the article, they'd own the channels. Time Warner spun off the Cable Co wing and got out of the distribution business ~10 years ago, and divested off Time Inc (magazines) ~2 years ago. So this end of the company is just a video content company now and owns HBO, Turner's channels, Warner Brothers, and New Line -- so about 15 total channels (using HBO as "1" channel) and some movie studios.

If Apple were to enter the market as a distributor, they'd be like Comcast and carry a big stick at the negotiating table for other content... a stick Comcast pretends doesn't exist. But it includes the crown jewel of paid-TV, live sports that are on TNT and TBS...
 

Macxpress

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2014
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This is great news, but I still think $30/$40 is too much for a service like this, especially since Netflix is only $9.
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.
 

iReality85

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Apr 29, 2008
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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.
It is a good thing. The cable providers hold way too much power and the services currently being provided are too entrenched. This is on a whole other level than iTunes or iPhone coming in and changing the game. If Apple wants to shake up the cable industry and its services, this is a rare opportunity to do so.

And who says Eddy Cue would be 'running' Time Warner? Apple would be buying the employees along with the assets. Sure, there would be some management restructuring, and you'd weed out some undesireables (e.g. importing Apple's expectations), but it's not as if the seats would come empty.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
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Yes, but that's not what the person i quoted is saying.
Didn’t say it was. My point was that a company can choose to rip you off. They don’t have to. I wouldn’t mind betting that the Apple offering is more money than it really needs to be.
 

davidwes

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2004
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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????
 

Someyoungguy

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2012
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I'm starting to question the value of this approach over, say, DirecTV with a DVR. Both can stream on-demand content over the Internet, but DirecTV isn't occupying bandwidth the rest of the time. Streaming would have to be dramatically cheaper, which seems out of character for Apple.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
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So would Apple actually own these channels or just have the rights to stream them? If they provided these channels for free via Apple TV or iDevices, I wonder if they could make up the cost through hardware sales. That would really change the TV landscape.
I don't see how that would fly. Comcast owns a ton of media properties. Comcast cable subscribers don't get them for free.

I'm starting to question the value of this approach over, say, DirecTV with a DVR. Both can stream on-demand content over the Internet, but DirecTV isn't occupying bandwidth the rest of the time. Streaming would have to be dramatically cheaper, which seems out of character for Apple.
Streaming or what your ISP charges you for internet service?

It is a good thing. The cable providers hold way too much power and the services currently being provided are too entrenched. This is on a whole other level than iTunes or iPhone coming in and changing the game. If Apple wants to shake up the cable industry and its services, this is a rare opportunity to do so.

And who says Eddy Cue would be 'running' Time Warner? Apple would be buying the employees along with the assets. Sure, there would be some management restructuring, and you'd weed out some undesireables (e.g. importing Apple's expectations), but it's not as if the seats would come empty.
So on the one end you have Apple selling electric vehicles, on the other they're running CNN? Makes no sense to me. Maybe if they were just interested in HBO to compete with Netflix but I still think it's a bad idea. Apple should be about creating the best platform for everyone else to put their content on. I don't think they should be competing with content creators.
 
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