Apple is close to securing a deal that will bring Time Warner Cable subscribers access to their cable television service through the Apple TV, according to sources with knowledge of the company’s plans, who have been speaking to Bloomberg.
The two companies are expected to announce the deal “within a few months.”
If Apple manages to secure the deal, Time Warner Cable would be the first cable service to debut on the Apple TV — though it’s unlikely that it would be the last. Apple is said to be seeking new ways to bolster sales of the $99 set-top box amid increasing competition from devices like the Roku, and even Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
And one way to do that will be to get as many cable companies as it can on board.
“It’s not necessary for Apple to remake the media industry to sell a great TV product,” Benedict Evans, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London, told Bloomberg. “They are methodically adding to Apple TV.”
The deal would also indicate that Apple is willing to work with existing pay-TV business models to bring cable services to the Apple TV, rather than directly offering live TV programming. Reports have claimed the company would prefer the latter, but the media companies have been reluctant to enter into this type of arrangement for fear of damaging cable and satellite sales.
Other rumors have suggested that Apple is also working on its own television, which could launch as early as this year. CEO Tim Cook fueled that speculation last month when he said during a D11 interview that TV was of “intense interest” to Apple.