March 24 - A deal would let Apple stream TV programs over Comcast's cables to bypass congestion on the web, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fred Katayama reports.
Two titans in talks over TV: Apple wants to stream TV programs without the hiccups that Netflix subscribers have had, so it's discussing a tie-up with the U.S.' largest cable provider, Comcast. The Wall Street Journal says Apple wants special treatment from Comcast's cables to bypass congestion on the web and pipe programming into homes. A deal would give Apple a new product in the post-Steve Jobs era that investors have been clamoring for, and help Comcast add and retain customers. But the talks could face hiccups just like streaming. The Journal says both sides want to control customer data, and Apple wants users to use its login IDs, among other things. Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst is skeptical. He says, "While Apple has a long history in delivering the unexpected, it's hard for us to see true transformative disruption economics in Apple partnering with Comcast to deliver an internet-based television service." Investors drove stocks of both companies higher at the market open, but Comcast has since turned lower.