Apple closely watching for Time Warner buyout opportunities to accelerate streaming TV plans
The New York Post reports that Apple is closely following the situation with Time Warner; the company is facing pressure from investors to put itself up for sale and Apple is interested in acquiring it. Many investors believe Time Warner stock is trading far below its asset value and many investors believe that a buyout or spinoff of some kind is the best option.
Apple could use the company to accelerate its efforts to launch a digital streaming cable service for Apple TV. Time Warner controls a vast content library, including popular shows like Game of Thrones as well as entities like CNN News. More importantly perhaps, it has deals in place with every channel that Apple would need to become a full TV platform.
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.
Although there is a chance Apple could buyout the whole company, Time Warner may end up spinning off parts of the business, although the CEO is resistant.
The New York Post says Eddy Cue is watching the events unfold, with Apple potentially interested in jumping at the opportunity if it arises. Apple partnered with HBO (a Time Warner subsidiary) earlier in the year, so a business relationship already exists for the two companies.
Eddy Cue, one of Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s top lieutenants, in charge of content deals, has been keeping tabs on proceedings at Time Warner, a source close to Apple said.
The Posts also says that unlike other media companies, Time Warner does not have a tiered share structure, making a potential buyout easier to execute without managerial consultation. Other potential suitors for the deal include AT&T, owner of DirecTV.
Apple has been long-rumored to be working on a digital streaming TV cable service, featuring a ‘skinny bundle’ of about 30-40 channels for a monthly subscription as low as $40. Reportedly, the original plan was for the Apple TV 4 to launch alongside the ‘Apple Video’ service. However, due to delays, Apple decided to launch the new hardware last October standalone.