& 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   >   >>
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.