In January Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Reportedly Eying Purchase of Time Warner to Boost Apple TV." At the time, the New York Post had reported Time Warner Inc. wasn't really on the block just yet, but Apple was staying extra close to any possible movement on that front. Apple was among a handful of companies, all possible suitors of the entertainment company, which had come under pressure from shareholder activists to sell itself or spin off assets. Today the rumbling on this front is back in the news with a new report by the Financial Times.
Today, the Financial Times is reporting that "A top Apple executive raised the prospect of the iPhone maker buying Time Warner at a meeting with the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Brothers, according to three people who were briefed on it."
The meeting at the media group's Manhattan headquarters had been arranged to discuss other commercial relationships between the two companies, such as the potential inclusion of Time Warner's cable channels in a future Apple video streaming service.
Discussions about Apple buying Time Warner did not get beyond a preliminary stage and never included Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, nor his Time Warner counterpart, Jeff Bewkes, people familiar with the matter said.
The Financial Times further noted that 'It is not clear Apple will revive its interest in Time Warner but bankers say the tech company has recently been considering a range of potential media targets.
'They've been on the lookout for content assets for several months,' said one that has worked with Apple. Several bankers said Apple was more likely to go after a streaming company such as Netflix than a pure content player, as it would make it easier for Apple's services to continue to offer a wide range of content makers.'"
With Amazon and Netflix spending billions of dollars a year on original series and movies it's amazing how little Apple is spending in this area considering the drum beating that Apple's CEO did about the future of TV with Brian Williams back in 2013.
We did a follow-up report in 2014 titled "Are the Hopes for a Future Apple HDTV really Toast?" But since then we've only seen crumbs of news here and there on this front, all mickey mouse evolutionary moves. Apple has put more money into Didi Chuxing than they have in content for Apple TV.
I'd have to say at this point in time that Steve Jobs reportedly saying that we've cracked it, TV that is, seems like a big miss with Amazon whizzing by Apple handily.
I know that the Apple fan mantra is that Apple only comes out with products when it's done right. Yet Apple TV started quickly nowhere and remains in nowhere land, so that stance is getting a little old.
Yet for some reason, I keep hoping that Apple will make some noise and shake up the television world and the market big time with the Next Great Thing. If we're lucky, perhaps there will be some great news on this front announced at the upcoming WWDC event next month. Time will tell.
Update 5/26/2016 5:25 p.m.: Was the rumor shaky as we said? Apparently so. Charter Communications has just completed the transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and soon you'll get to know them by the name, Spectrum. The company notes on their website that "We are proud to be the fastest growing TV, Internet, and Voice provider in the United States and are committed to bringing you the most advanced products and services for your home and business." For more on this, including a video, click here. Maybe I'm missing something here, as this was known last month.