updated 05:45 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
Apple TV hub, TV may get Epix show access
Apple has been discussing a possible deal to get Epix' on-demand movies on its media devices, a pair of tipsters clamed late Friday. The talks were to both support the Apple TV as well as "upcoming devices that stream content," which Reuters took to mean a future TV set. Any progress was early, one of the contacts said.
Neither side would confirm or deny the rumor, with Apple calling it "speculation."
A deal wouldn't be unusual for Apple. Despite many seeing Netflix as a competitor to iTunes, Apple included it with the second-generation Apple TV in what's been seen as an attempt to maintain a competitive edge. Epix is normally considered an on-top service that requires traditional TV, but would give Apple a source that could potentially supply streaming movies to some viewers even before they arrive in the iTunes Store or on Blu-ray.
Pure streaming on Epix is an option through Netflix, but also sets a minimum timeframe for when Apple could make the option available. Epix's exclusive with Netflix lasts until the end of September.
Apple has been looking to break the Apple TV out of its often mentioned "hobby" status by making the box a major aspect of its business and might see stronger content deals as part of this. A TV set might have its own, unique challenges, as Apple would likely want to provide complements or even replacements for conventional TV, not just the secondary services that companies like LG and Samsung offer.