E-Commerce Times Talkback
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The proposed $30 billion Comcast-NBC Universal deal has entered the labyrinthine process of winning Congressional approval from the antitrust gurus and the Federal Communications Commission. Small cable operators, which apparently still exist, fear that they will be driven out of business by the sprawling new company that would combine NBC's programming with Comcast's vast network of 24 million subscribers. Those of us who remember the Frankenstein that was AOL Time Warner may shudder as we hear these words again: "It's great to own content and distribution!"
Apple must be able to lengthen the 24-hour rental window before I'll be interested. I want to be able to rent at 9:00 pm, watch until 10:30, hit stop, and watch the rest the next day starting at 9:00 pm. If that pattern costs me more than one rental, I'm not interested.
I'm not sure the Networks/Cable combines will be quite as clueless as the labels were, (hindsight and a product of a more competitive ecosystem). Many believe Apple will gut the labels eventually, and TV doesn't want to be next. This may be reflected in the difficulty Apple is currently having in arranging broader deals for movies and TV shows.
What Apple needs to pull this off, is the Killer set-top box as their foot in door. It would do net access and cable access, with simple integration of AV out components (don't tell me this shouldn't be easier, I still can't remember which remote to use). Combined with the iTunes store and shiny hardware. I don't know how to do this, wether its Apple TV+ or something different. But with the cable companies dragging their feet on the cable card issue...?.
Apple seems to have figured out the secret of consumer sales. When business decides cost and control (provider control) rules, when consumers decide, ease of use and cost are relevant. Using consumer choice as an advantage is a very alien concept to the networks, and a big advantage to Apple.