The WSJ reports that Apple is currently negotiating a streaming TV deal with Comcast that would use an Apple set-top-box — ahem, Apple TV refresh — and Comcast's position as the company that controls a ton of the United States' broadband infrastructure.
According to the report, negotiations are in very early stages and any deal would be all about privileged access to Comcast's tubes. As we know, Comcast is already a dominant player in broadband, and if its merger with Time Warner Cable goes through, the company would be even more powerful. Apple wants to make sure that whatever streaming content platform it offers on the long-rumoured — and long-overdue — new Apple TV would be unfettered by bandwidth hiccups.
The set-top-box is about to become a huge battleground where companies win and lose customers. Microsoft and Sony have already made their plays on gaming consoles that double as media hubs, whereas Google has opted for its super lightweight Chromecast stick. Amazon is expected to come in somewhere in between with a robust Android-based box that supports quality gaming.
In other words, the time has come for Apple to make a definitive play, and all things considered, paying good money for better bandwidth might actually serve the company well. Because if my Apple TV ain't gonna play Call of Duty — it better stream without a bump. On the other hand, if you were worried about what kind of negotiating positions a Comcast-TWC monolith might have, think about what happens when they jump into bed with Apple. Probably not good things for consumers. [WSJ]