While Google has been laying actual cable systems in non-Verizon territories, and Intel has been making efforts in secret to get internet-based cable off the ground, it’s Apple that has been circling the concept the longest. Steve Jobs claimed he had “cracked TV,” and the best guesses about what that meant involve reducing each channel to some kind of on-demand à la carte app instead of a linear, surfable, traditional cable feed. But apparently that’s really not working out. One of Apple’s big problems has been that the rest of the industry has seen what Apple has done with the music industry, and they also know that the danger of backlash is not yet outweighed by the prospective customers gained, and so they want nothing to do with such ventures.
Apple has now hired Jean-François Mulé, the longtime senior vice president of technology development of CableLabs, who according to his LinkedIn page is doing “something big” at his new company. Apple undoubtedly wants to use his existing knowledge and other industry connections in the continued development of its online cable efforts.
There are too many players in this game now for something not to happen sooner rather than later. While Sony throwing its wallet at Viacom is probably not a good long term strategy, someone is going to make a good faith effort. The only question is whether the interest will be strong enough to do anything to the cable companies, and whether they can be kept from simply making up the revenue by jacking up the cost of broadband internet.
Via: [Boy Genius Report]