Report: Why the Cable Operators Fear Apple — Though Time Warner Cable Seems to Fear Apple Less Than Other Operators. What Is Better for the Consumer?

Sep 6, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Why the cable companies fear Apple and a robust Apple TV is part of what’s talked about in an article posted on BloombergBusinessweek today, Sept. 6, 2012.

Accrding to the article, written by Adam Satariano and Alex Sherman, "Walter Price, an investor with RCM Capital Management in San Francisco who met with Apple executives recently to discuss their television efforts, said cable and media companies are concerned that a better-designed Apple product will undermine their business model.

" ‘It’s a tough problem because the cable companies and media companies are not very enthusiastic about the prospect of Apple creating a better user interface,’ said Price, whose firm owns $1.9 billion worth of Apple shares."

The article adds that the cable operator that seems most open to overtures from Apple is Time Warner Cable:

"Apple may be looking to Time Warner Cable to be its first partner in a similar way that AT&T Inc. helped bring the iPhone to market, one person said. This would be a departure from Apple’s traditional strategy of releasing products nationally. Time Warner Cable, like all cable companies, only operates in certain regions. Los Angeles and New York City are its largest markets. Under this thinking, Apple would then expand the service if it proves successful, one person said.

“ ‘Unlike other distributors, we are not religiously wedded to absolutely controlling the user interface,’ said Robert Marcus, chief operating officer of Time Warner Cable, in a telephone interview. He declined to comment on Apple specifically."

So how would Apple’s device interface with what cable customers now receive? Says the article: "Apple has focused on cable companies that would give it access to live broadcasting without needing new content agreements. Under such a deal, Apple would release a new product for customers to access their set of channels, paid with a cable subscription, instead of leasing a set-top box from pay-TV operators for a monthly fee, a person familiar with the discussions said. Apple may also lease the boxes through cable companies, another person said. The box would be Internet-connected, similar to Comcast’s new X1 interface, which is available in Boston, Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, the person said."

To get more details, we suggest you click on the link above and read the entirle Bloomberg Businessweek article.

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