The WSJ reports that Apple is currently negotiating the formation of their own TV streaming service that could be incorporated into an Apple set-top-box.
So far the the deal seems focused on the US market, leveraging Comcast's position as the company that controls a huge portion of the United States' broadband infrastructure.
According to the report, negotiations are in very early stages and any deal would be all about privileged access to Comcast's tubes. As we know, Comcast is already a dominant player in broadband, and if its merger with Time Warner Cable goes through, the company would be even more powerful. Apple wants to make sure that whatever streaming content platform it offers on the long-rumoured—and long-overdue—new Apple TV would be unfettered by bandwidth hiccups.
The set-top-box is about to become a huge battleground where companies win and lose customers. Microsoft and Sony have already made their plays on gaming consoles (Xbox One and PS4, duh) that double as media hubs, whereas Google has opted for its super lightweight Chromecast stick. Amazon is expected to come in somewhere in between with a robust Android-based box that supports quality gaming.
Clearly the talks are centralised for the US broadcasting channels but with Apple being so prevalent in the UK, a deal going through of this nature could signal similar services coming to this country.
The time has come for Apple to make a definitive play, and all things considered, paying good money for better bandwidth might actually serve the company well. Because if my Apple TV ain't gonna play Call of Duty—it better stream without a bump. On the other hand, if you were worried about what kind of negotiating positions a Comcast-TWC monolith might have, think about what happens when they jump into bed with Apple. Probably not good things for consumers. [WSJ]