Comcast’s Time Warner Cable Acquisition Throws Apple TV Partnership Into Doubt

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The next version of Apple TV may allow you to take your viewing with you wherever you go. Photo: Apple
The next version of Apple TV may allow you to take your viewing with you wherever you go. Photo: Apple

Comcast, the number one cable provider in the U.S., has announced that it plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, the second largest cable firm in the U.S., for a reported $45 billion.

The deal — set to be officially announced later today — will see Comcast offer $158.82 per share in an all-stock deal.

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

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A5X inside, but nothing else new.
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.

Time Warner Cable Wants Apple To Put TWC TV App On Apple TV

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timewarner

Time Warner Cable is in talks with Apple to sign a video streaming deal for some of its content. After the successful launch of its TWC TV app on Roku devices this past March, Time Warner Cable announced that it’s trying to get ink more deals.

Speaking at an investors conference in London on June 4, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told investors that the company wants to strike deals with Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung:

Time Warner Will Let Customers Stream Live TV To iOS Devices Starting Tomorrow

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As more cable subscribers start to embrace the idea of ditching cable for services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, cable companies are quickly trying to entice subscribers to stay by offering TV everywhere on every device.

Time Warner Cable announced today that starting tomorrow, TWC subscribers will be able to stream live TV to their Apple devices for the first time ever. An update for TWC’s iOS app should roll out  tomorrow that will make 11 live national news, sports, and entertainment channels available to subscribers outside of their home, via an iPhone or iPad.

Time Warner TV iPad App Now Lets You Watch On Demand Content

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If you use the official Time Warner TV iPad app, then you’re in luck. A big update has brought the ability to view On Demand content, including 4,000 TV and movie titles from 91 different providers.

Content is available in HD and standard def depending on the provider, and you have full power to search and browse the catalog right from the comfort of your iPad.

Time Warner Says They Would Let Apple Have Complete Control Over TV Interface

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While Apple still hasn’t released a full-fledged television, rumors have been circulating that they might be working on a cable set-top box for cable providers as well. The big question has been whether or not cable providers would allow Apple to come in and take control of the TV experience.

According to Time Warner Cable’s COO, they’d be more than happy to let Apple come in and have control of the TV interface if it makes the customers’ experience better.

Cable Companies Band Together To Offer Free 4G/LTE Alternative

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Cable companies begin offering free roaming Wi-Fi to customers
Cable companies begin offering free roaming Wi-Fi to customers

LTE devices, including iPads, offer users two major advantages: speeds typically faster than many wired providers (in my neck of the woods, Verizon LTE is just over twice as fast as Time Warner’s Roadrunner Turbo) and ubiquitous access for LTE devices (and any devices tethered to them) that is a lot more convenient than relying on public network or hotspots like those found in your neighborhood Starbucks. A downside is that LTE’s speeds make it easy to rack up a large bill.

If you’re looking for another high-speed wireless option that offers better bang for your buck, there’s one joining the field to consider  – and it’s coming from an unlikely source with an unlikely price. Five major cable companies are joining forces to deliver ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage for any of their subscribers… for free.