Apple, Comcast In Talks To Team Up On Apple TV

| News

It's possible the Apple TV is the new face of Comcast cable boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple has been working on this for some time; reportedly discussions with Time Warner Cable were happening as early as mid-2012, but those talks stopped when the merger/takeover/purchase talks started between TWC and Comcast. Now it seems Apple is restarting those discussions with Comcast, warming up the press for another round of "Apple + Television = Crazy Delicious."

Apple TV could be Comcast's new set top boxApple TV could be Comcast's new set top box

Comcast has done a similar hardware deal with TiVo, where TiVo Premiere boxes are an alternative to the standard cable box when getting Comcast service, and a form of the software deal for On Demand content through an Xbox Live app.

There are two important facets of this deal that are probably going to be the toughest to work out: Customer data, and the "last mile" traffic. Apple reportedly wants streaming television bandwidth treated like telephone and alarm system bandwidth (unaffected by lots of web traffic).

Another sticking point is customer information: Who will get it, and how? As Apple has demonstrated previously with magazine subscriptions, they aren't really interested in sharing customer data, but they are very interested in getting their piece of a transaction from an Apple device.

There's still plenty to work out here; content and cost not the least among them. However, since the Wall Street Journal is reporting this, hopefully things are far enough along that something interesting actually could happen.

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I am cautiously optimistic about this. On one hand, making my life better (one less Thing Hooked To The Television, pleasant UI on a "cable box") sounds good. But on the other hand, is it too good to be true? What about all the ads for Comcast's new X1 service, would they just give that up to stop cord-cutters? Last year Apple made a billion dollars between selling pucks and iTunes purchases. While it makes sense for cable companies to want in on those sorts of numbers, I can't remember the last time a cable company did anything that made sense. 

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“I can’t remember the last time a cable company did anything that made sense.”

Good one.

Who here does not hate Comcast vengeance and is not an employee or significant stockholder thereof?

Maybe Apple can teach them how not to be despised by your customers.  Fat chance.


Sorry that’s “hate Comcast with a vengeance”.


I hate Time Warner with a vengeance, does that count? They have the local cable monopoly here so I haven’t had the pleasure of being tortured by Comcast. Our cord has been cut for over a year and it would take something drastic for us to move back to cable’s monthly tithe.


I have a TiVo Premiere, support at Comcast is nonexistent since they have their own DVR to promote.  Between TiVo and Apple I have 2 strikes against me when something goes awry with my service… make that 3 since I have trouble understanding heavy foreign accents.  Add me to the hate them with a vengeance list. (but stuck with them for now)

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