As we’ve heard for the past month, Apple and Time Warner Cable are close to inking a deal that would bring a TWC app to the Apple TV’s homescreen — for the first time bringing live TV broadcasts to the device. But some recent reports are bringing things into sharper focus, giving us some more insight into what the future of Apple's service is going to look like.
Earlier this week, the New York Times wrote that the app would allow “some of the company’s 12 million subscribers to watch live and on-demand shows without a separate set-top box.” Today, Bloomberg adds that "while the deal would add a Time Warner app, that just means viewers won’t have to switch from Apple TV back to their cable box: They’d still need to subscribe to Time Warner Cable and wait around for a technician to install it." The TWC app would likely be based on its existing iPhone and iPad software, which lets customers navigate by time and network, and offers options for on-demand streaming.
"Far superior to anything offered by Time Warner"
Two people close to the negotiations have derided the current incarnation of the TWC app, reports Bloomberg, writing that it “saves little more than a click of the remote.” However, according to the Times, the app's supporters say that the programming guide is "far superior to anything offered by Time Warner."
"A master menu of network TV apps"
Bloomberg goes on to describe senior Apple VP Eddy Cue’s grand vision of “a master menu of network TV apps, on-demand shows, and a handful of live channels, primarily news and sports.” And while TWC is reportedly still requiring a cable subscription to use the app, Bloomberg notes that Cue is still in negotiations with "at least one" other major cable provider to bring its content to the Apple TV without the need for a separate cable hook-up, citing someone "familiar with his thinking." So while TWC reportedly still plans to charge a subscription for its service, the dream of live and on-demand a la carte television remains alive.