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Apple Prepping Pay-TV Push

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Here's a look at what's rippling across the cable pond.

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is revisiting the idea of developing a subscription pay-TV service that could take on cable operators, telcos and satellite TV operators, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple had considered doing this in 2009 but pulled back after media companies balked at the idea. (See Is Apple Building a Smart TV?)

  • Apple has stopped renting TV shows at the iTunes store. Apple tells AllThingsD that the decision was based on customer preferences to buy rather than rent shows and a bigger push for the iTunes in the Cloud service, which lets customers download and watch purchases on the Apple TV, iOS devices, Macs and PCs.

  • Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced ad joint venture, has been restructured into six organizations that report to interim CEO Kathy Timko. Among the notable changes, former CTO Arthur Orduña has been slotted to the new position of chief product officer, and Joel Hassell, previously SVP of engineering, has been promoted to CTO. The other four organization leaders will continue in their current roles: Vickie Lins as chief marketing officer, John Redpath as general counsel, Neil Schaffer as CFO and Jim Turner as SVP of sales and distribution. (See Canoe CEO to Step Down.)

  • Following in the footsteps of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s trail-blazing "remote-storage" DVR, "most" U.S. cable operators will trial and launch network DVR services in the next 18 to 24 months, predicts Motorola Mobility LLC Director of Next-Generation Video Solutions Bob Scheffler. He says Moto has seen a "spike" in interest, "and more operators are now putting nDVR contracts out for bid." (See Comcast to Run Small Net-DVR Trial .)

  • A mess- and truck-roll-free experience with a self-install CableCARD through Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) caused gadget blogger Dave Zatz to declare that the pay-TV industry has entered the "Golden Age" of the CableCARD, but laments that there still aren't many retail platforms that support the removable security module. (See New Rules! )

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:55:11 PM
    re: Apple Prepping Pay-TV Push

    Yep, I get your point... discussing and maybe even pursuing is a bit short of any *real* prepping going on yet since there's not much meat on the bone other than a report that they are considering something yet again, two years after other reports surfaced in 2009 that Apple was trying to round up support for a $30/month video subscription service, but didn't get many takers from the networks and studios.  Wonder if two more years of cord-cutting hype is getting both sides to change their minds.  JB


    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:55:11 PM
    re: Apple Prepping Pay-TV Push

    Just so we're clear: The WSJ is reporting that folks at Apple are discussing a subscription-based TV service as one option to increase demand for the iTunes store and the Apple TV product.

    So what are they doing? We don't know. Talking. Reportedly. That's all we've got.



    User Rank: Light Beer
    12/5/2012 | 4:55:10 PM
    re: Apple Prepping Pay-TV Push

    It's always an interesting discussion Does a subscription TV service make sense for Apple? I think it could.

    The product could be some sort of VoD that's only available on specific devices. All you can eat, but not something that competes with the linear/broadcast TV model. Thnk Netflix but with only on selected devices. Similar to how FaceTime is like Skype, but only on specific devices.




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