Apple in talks with Comcast for streaming-TV service: WSJ

Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:22pm EDT

A shattered large glass panel, part of Apple's cube store on Fifth Avenue, damaged from the results of the snowstorm on Tuesday is seen in New York, January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A shattered large glass panel, part of Apple's cube store on Fifth Avenue, damaged from the results of the snowstorm on Tuesday is seen in New York, January 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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(Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks with Comcast Corp to enter into a deal for a streaming-television service that would allow Apple set-top boxes to bypass congestion on the web, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The discussions are in early stages and there are a lot of hurdles to be crossed before a definitive agreement could be reached, the Journal said. (link.reuters.com/reb87v)

Apple, which wants its TV service's traffic to be separated from public internet traffic over the "last mile" for faster transmission, is looking for special treatment from Comcast's cables to bypass congestion, the report said.

Comcast and Apple declined to comment on the report.

Apple has been in talks for a faster TV set-top box with Time Warner Cable Inc, which recently agreed to be bought by Comcast.

Apple's $99 TV box competes with similar streaming devices from Roku and Google Inc.

Netflix agreed last month to pay Comcast Corp for faster speeds, throwing open the possibility that more content companies will have to shell out for better service.

The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of drafting a new "net-neutrality" bill that would ensure that network operators disclose exactly how they manage Internet traffic and that they do not restrict consumers' ability to surf the Web or use applications.

(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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Comments (2)
I hope Apple comes to their senses and finds a better partner, Comcast clearly isn’t up to the job.

After the X1 platform crashed nationwide a few months ago, Comcast continues to be plagued with hardware problems.

My first X1 dvr lasted a week, the second died literally 5 minutes after the installer left. An HD cable box I had in the bedroom died not long after.

Apple would never bring such shoddy products to the market.

I hope as part of their due diligence they start looking behind the scenes at Comcast, there are legions of unsatisfied Comcast customers talking online about their Comcast nightmares on any given day. I can’t imagine that Apple would want their stellar reputation sullied by Comcasts poor reputation.

Mar 24, 2014 4:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nurgle wrote:
From a consumer perspective I don’t see the value add at all. I can already get all the Comacast I might want online. Why would I need Apple as yet another intermediary?
Sure, there’ll probably be “Apple Exclusive” content – who cares?

The “set top box” is an unnecessary MacGuffin to suck in the fewer and fewer technologically unsavvy.

Unless pricing came in substantially lower than what’s already out there (and I don’t see why Comcast would cut their own throat), it’s another Intel TV black hole.

Those who buy in simply because “It’s Apple!” deserve their fate.

Mar 24, 2014 5:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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