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Report: Apple, TWC cozying up on TV deal

Wed, 07/03/2013 - 11:44am
Mike Robuck

Time Warner Cable and Apple are rumored to be closing in on a deal that would give Time Warner Cable’s subscribers access to their programming via Apple TV.

Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reported that an agreement would be announced over the next few months. Bloomberg also said that Apple was hiring Hulu’s Pete Distad, senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, to help it negotiate with media and cable companies. 

Apple has been trying to break into the video ranks for some time with its $99 set-top box, but programmers, networks and content owners have been reluctant to strike deals with it due to existing relationships with satellite, telco and cable video providers.

A deal with Time Warner Cable, which would be Apple’s first with a cable operator, could serve to thaw out negotiations with other service providers. Last month Apple added content from Time Warner, HBO and ESPN. While Intel is bent on competing directly against cable operators via its Internet-based service, Apple is going with a more collaborative approach.

A spokeswoman for Time Warner Cable declined to comment on the deal with Apple.

Time Warner Cable has been aggressively pursuing is TV Everywhere strategy. Last week the nation’s second-largest cable operator announced a deal to stream 300 live channels to Xbox 360 gaming consoles.  

Also last month, Time Warner Cable said it would start enabling some videos on Samsung SmartTVs later this summer using its TWC TV app.  At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Time Warner Cable announced it would stream its TWC TV service over Roku devices.

Time Warner Cable also supports video on the following devices: PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android tablets and smartphones. The types of video supported include Adobe HDS for PC and Apple HLS for mobile (both Android and iOS.) The cable operator uses a private cloud with separate IP network delivery for its TV Everywhere services. 

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