Apple Hires Hulu Exec To Negotiate For Cable On Apple TV, Time Warner In The Wings

A5X inside, but nothing else new.

Apple is starting to give more attention to the Apple TV, as the recent additions of content like HBO Go and WatchESPN prove. Negotiations to stream cable content via the Apple TV have been underway, and Apple is almost ready to close a deal with Time Warner Cable. Former Hulu executive Pete Distad has also been hired by Apple to handle negotiations with content companies for the Apple TV, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

The Time Warner deal would “give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV.” Distad was in charge of marketing and distribution at Hulu, and Apple has brought him on to strike deals with other cable companies in the future.

Apple’s Eddy Cue has been in charge of negotiations leading up to Distad’s hire, and the Apple TV has yet to strike a major cable deal. Time Warner would be a landmark victory. But you would likely still need to have a full Time Warner subscription for your home, so don’t get your hopes up too high.

  • TheMadTurtle

    “The Time Warner deal would “give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV.” ”

    This really confuses me. If I’m already paying the cable company for content, why do I need to watch it via an Apple TV? I get apps like Netflix and Hulu where I pay a monthly fee and get content that I wouldn’t otherwise have on my TV, but do I need the Watch ESPN app when I can just change the channel and well, watch ESPN? Am I going to use a Time Warner app to watch the same stuff I could otherwise watch if I simply changed the channel? What am I missing?

  • Adrayven

    “The Time Warner deal would “give subscribers of the cable television service access to channels via Apple TV.” ”

    This really confuses me. If I’m already paying the cable company for content, why do I need to watch it via an Apple TV? I get apps like Netflix and Hulu where I pay a monthly fee and get content that I wouldn’t otherwise have on my TV, but do I need the Watch ESPN app when I can just change the channel and well, watch ESPN? Am I going to use a Time Warner app to watch the same stuff I could otherwise watch if I simply changed the channel? What am I missing?

    I completely agree. I’m NOT going to pay Time Warner huge package fees JUST to get their one or 2 channels of content on Apple TV. If I can’t get ala-cart, or have to do some silly expensive monthly fee, not doing it.

    The Cable companies have certain TV Shows artificially lifted very high because they ‘package’ them.. I say, let channels live or die based on individual subscribers.

  • Stilgar985

    This would be a big step forward for both the Apple TV and Time Warner Cable. This isn’t really about current Apple TV and Cable Subscribers; this deal would be aimed at gaining new subscribers and revenue for both parties. In places like North Carolina or Virginia, some areas are very rural, only satellite TV is available. This could be an opportunity to chip into that market with streaming services. Also, I can envision smaller hotel chains striking deals with TWC and using Apple TV’s as in room content providers. This could also be used at someone’s second home with a proper log in and subscription to Time Warner.

    I personally would be willing to give Time Warner 15 bucks for the only 10 channels I watch and ditch my Comcast cable bill.

    The Watch ESPN app has tons of full-length replays of every sporting event that’s broadcast on their channels so you can watch them whenever you’d like – Via ESPN-3. This is huge if you forget to record a certain game or don’t have DVR services.

    The way we access, watch and pay for TV content is changing and I think ATV and TWC are moving the ball in the right direction.

  • rammo123

    And it’s still useless outside the US…

  • adology

    I completely agree. I’m NOT going to pay Time Warner huge package fees JUST to get their one or 2 channels of content on Apple TV. If I can’t get ala-cart, or have to do some silly expensive monthly fee, not doing it.

    The Cable companies have certain TV Shows artificially lifted very high because they ‘package’ them.. I say, let channels live or die based on individual subscribers.

    It’s not the cable companies that are doing the packaging, it’s the content providers – ESPN, Fox, Viacom, etc.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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