A proposed change in U.S. regulations could have massive implications when it comes to bringing about the kind of integrated Apple television set Steve Jobs talked about producing.
Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed a revision of rules that would afford Internet streaming services the same treatment as traditional cable and satellite television companies when it comes to negotiating with channel operators like HBO.
If the change is made, online providers would gain “access to programming owned by cable operators” and be able to negotiate licensing deals with content providers like HBO or local TV stations. Wheeler says the move would “encourage new video alternatives by opening up access to content previously locked on cable channels,” similar to the way regulatory changes in the ’90s enabled satellite TV to compete with cable operators.
DirecTV chairman claims Apple won't deliver a better experience or content for viewers.
The entertainment industry may be bracing for further disruption by Apple when the company finally unveils its HDTV and related television plans, but at least one major player in the field is refusing to show any sign of fear.
In a move sure to be followed by other industry executives, DirecTV chairman Michael White downplayed the potential for an Apple television during a conference attended by other cable and satellite company leaders late last week. While other executives were fairly noncommittal about an Apple HDTV and what it could mean for the entertainment industry, White was emphatic in deriding the idea that Apple could deliver a better user experience to viewers.
Speaking at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference, White specifically called out two of the most anticipated features of an Apple television – a superior user interface and a better selection of content – and described them as unrealistic and unimportant to his company’s customers.