Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are reportedly discussing a potential deal to release a new streaming-television service, which could be integrated into a future Apple TV set-top box that could provide buffering-free content to users, a new report said Sunday.
While talks between the two companies are still in the early stages and many hurdles remain before a deal can be struck, the collaboration is expected to allow Apple’s users to stream live and on-demand TV programs as well as digital-video recordings stored in the cloud through a set-top box device, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
During peak viewing hours, when most people are accessing the Internet, connections tend to become considerably slow, affecting streaming-video services such as iTunes, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Hulu. And, Apple intends to separate the new TV service from public Internet traffic over the “last mile,” which connects the customer's home directly to the cable network, for faster transmission, the Journal reported.
Apple is also said to have proposed to Comcast that users of the new service would sign on to the new device using an existing or new Apple ID. The company also has reportedly asked Comcast for a cut of the monthly subscription paid by customers while the cable-service provider wants to keep significant control over the consumer-data relationship.
The Journal also reported that Apple’s idea of a quality product would require Comcast to make “significant investments in network equipment and other back-office technology” while Apple would be required to pay for acquiring significant TV programming rights from media companies.
Apple was said to be in talks with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) -- recently agreed to be acquired by Comcast -- for a faster TV set-top box, delivering live and on-demand content to Time Warner customers through IP TV, AppleInsider reported.
Meanwhile, Apple revamped its online store in January by adding a new category for Apple TV, suggesting that new functionalities for the product could be on their way. Apple is also rumored to be working on the launch of a new Apple TV, which could feature gaming capabilities.