Apple supposedly considered buying Time Warner Cable last year before the US cable giant Voltroned with Charter, according to the Financial Times. The tech industry is full of many “what if” moments, but this is a weird one. FT says the idea came from Apple’s Eddy Cue, boss of iTunes and Apple Music, who floated the idea while in a meeting with HBO, CNN and Warner Brothers. The idea for a bold foray into the TV business never escalated to CEO Tim Cook or TWC CEO Jeff Bewkes. Had the deal gone through, it would have easily surpassed Beats as Apple’s largest acquisition ever. TWC eventually sold for $US55 million ($76 million).
The rumour about Apple getting to the TV business is a frequent topic of speculation. Whether it’s Apple making its own TVs, a pay-TV streaming service or whatever, people seem to ardently believe that Apple is on the precipice of breaking into the entertainment industry.
But the idea has gotten at least a little more believable lately. Just this week, Tim Cook mentioned that he wanted Apple to be a “catalyst” when it comes to entertainment, and in March, Apple said it was working with Will.i.am on a new show about apps. This was the first public evidence of Apple’s interest in original programming, and the FT says Apple will be ramping up spending on OG entertainment to the tune of “several hundred million dollars a year”.
Even if the idea to snatch up TWC never got serious, it shows that Apple is hunting for the right way to get into the entertainment business. With all that cash on hand, I’d say it has some options.