& cplSiteName &

Apple, Comcast in Streaming TV Talks – Report

Ray Le Maistre
3/24/2014
50%
50%

Apple is talking to Comcast about a partnership that would deliver a video streaming service to Apple TV users at guaranteed quality levels over the cable company's vast broadband network, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

According to the report, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is keen to guarantee a high-quality live and on-demand TV/video service to those who buy its tiny set-top box, and can't rely on the best-effort nature of the public Internet. As a result, it is in talks to secure a guaranteed quality of service from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which provides its cable services to more than 21 million US households.

The move is interesting for a number of reasons.

Apple has previously held similar talks with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), which is set to be acquired by Comcast. (See Is Apple TV the New Cable Channel?, Comcast Strikes $45B Deal for TWC, and Comcast-TWC Deal: Playing All the Numbers.)

Comcast has previously been somewhat reluctant to team up with the OTT players, so these talks signify a change in attitude for the cable giant.

The rumors also come as Netflix CEO CEO Reed Hastings calls for tighter net neutrality rules to protect US Internet video providers against the "tolls" imposed by large ISPs for service delivery interconnections with broadband networks. (See Netflix CEO Wants 'Strong' Net Neutrality .)

Deals between OTT players, such as Netflix and Apple, and the communication service providers (CSPs) are becoming increasingly popular, and hove proven successful for both parties in markets such as the UK, where Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) was the first to offer the BBC's iPlayer service over its network and now offers Netflix as a dedicated channel to its cable customers with TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)-integrated cable boxes. (See Netflix to Spend Big, Strike Cable Deals in 2014 and Top European MSOs Embrace Next-Gen Video.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(15)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 10:45:02 PM
Re: What's it worth
It's almost funny when you think about it. It seems like the phone & OS providers are the ones who control the market.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 3:08:41 PM
What's next?
Today it's ISP like Comcast striking deals on OTT video, but what's next? Admittedly, OTT tv is different because it's a bandwidth bog, but will the attention of Comcast next turn to other content providers (on-line multiplayer video gaming, maybe) whose sites prove to be popular with subscribers...
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 11:26:21 AM
Re: What's it worth
And as for what Comcast gets out of the deal?  Presumably the clout to take on -- and throttle -- Google/YouTube, with a behemoth like Apple in its corner.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 7:10:26 AM
Re: What's it worth
@Pcharles09 I was thinking the exact same thing. In terms of world domination, two brands stands out: Google and Apple. 
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/24/2014 | 9:25:01 PM
Re: What's it worth
Comcast is trying to take over the world huh. What better partner to cozy up with than Apple. I guess Google was probably a close 2nd.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/24/2014 | 5:35:45 PM
Re: What's it worth
Even if Apple does build its own CDN, it needs to make it through that last mile to customers. That's where Comcast comes in. 
ScottEStewart0101
50%
50%
ScottEStewart0101,
User Rank: Lightning
3/24/2014 | 1:51:48 PM
Re: What's it worth
Like everything else that is spoken about Apple, this is purely speculation at this point. The article on WSJ doesn't name anyone in particular as a source. As to what this could mean, It "could" mean that Apple will get special treatment or QOS service for apple store traffic. OR - it could mean that Comcast is willing to allow AppleTV as a second set-top box, like the digital deals with Microsoft xBox360. The traffic issue on data caps would be dependent on the FCC/DOJ actually stepping in, which they currently have not, in any of these attempts to add what the tech community amounts to as a "troll toll". 

What will get consumers riled up will be if ONLY Apple 1st party content will be exempt from caps, but non-apple content running on the AppleTV device counts against the cap. (such as NetFlix/Hulu). At that point, Comcast could pull the rug out from under customer's feet and drop everyone's data caps down to 10-20Gb and say "use our partnered services, or pay 10$ overages". 
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/24/2014 | 1:16:53 PM
Re: What's it worth
There has been a longstanding I believe well-founded rumor Apple is building its own network/CDN ala Netflix.   My guess is if they reach some kind of deal and there won't be any transit/interconnection costs on either side.  The reality is Apple is still a pretty small player overall mainly due to the pay-per-view rather than a subscription model.  

I think this is very different from Comcast/Netflix.  If Apple is striking a deal to not affect bandwidth caps or get preferential service on Comcast's access network, that is going to start ringing Net Neutrality bells.   That type of setup is currently flying with ATT and its mobile networks, but I don't think the FCC long-term is going to allow it for home ISPs.  

 

 
Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/24/2014 | 12:02:53 PM
Re: Bandwidth transparency
Mari,

Good question. 

From an engineering perspective, I can think of at least three ways to keep a statistical floor on Best Effort performance in a DOCSIS serving group. 

From a regulatory perspective, the FCC would have to make Rules for Best Effort service performance.   Those would depend upon how much DC Circuit will let them  torture Sec. 706 of the Communications Act. 
Russo0
50%
50%
Russo0,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/24/2014 | 10:46:36 AM
What's it worth
What's it worth?   For transacational service like buying TV show on Apple TV, how about 10%?

$2.99 a 30 minute HD (~24 minute) show that $0.30 @ 2mbps ~ > $20 / mbps /month (assuming some # hours peak per day x 30 days)

But transit rates are < $1/mbps / month

OK, so 10% is too much....termination BW will cost a lot more, but that much more?

It's interesting to compare this Apple deal to the Comcast - Netflix.

 Comcast and Netflix have likely done a bulk deal....But Netflix is effectively buying QOS as well.   Sure Apple it says Apple will pay for QOS, but if Netflix is deliverying data up to Comcast's door, and Comcast is now accepting this traffic, effectively Netflix is purchasing QOS as well, as Comcast is not going to allow Netflix traffice to swamp their internal network.....

 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives