Apple is reported to be keeping a close watch on the goings on at Time Warner, where the company’s stock is trading far below its asset value, and where its board is facing increasing pressure from investors demanding a buyout or spinoff of some sort.
Apple could make use of the company’s assets to move its plans forward for launching a digital television streaming service for its Apple TV set top box. Time Warner’s kingdom includes HBO, CNN News, and more, including deals that are in place with most of the channels Apple would need in order to make their streaming service feasible.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has struggled to create a skinny bundle of programming from existing content partners. A deal with Time Warner would give Apple most of what it needs: CNN news, Turner Sports and such hugely popular shows as “Game of Thrones” and “Sesame Street” from HBO — not to mention Warner Bros. movies and TV shows.
Long standing rumors have Apple working to create its own digital television streaming service that would offer a “skinny bundle” of channels for a monthly fee of around $40 or so. Rumors had indicated the new service would launch alongside the fourth-generation Apple TV set top box. However that device’s debut came and went in October, with no sign of an announcement concerning the streaming service.
The post cites a “source close to Apple,” that says Apple SVP Eddy Cue is watching the proceedings at Time Warner with an eye towards jumping into the fray if the opportunity presents itself. Potential rivals for the pickings at Time Warner include AT&T, owner of DIRECTV.
Charter Communications was reportedly ready to buy Time Warner last year, but nothing came of the rumored deal. (Updated, to reflect Charter’s target was Time Warner Cable, Not Time Warner. Thanks to our readers: @skyjammer and @DennisSedlacko for pointing that out to us.)