Apple is negotiating with "other big distributors" about Apple TV apps similar to the one it's working on with Time Warner
, according to the New York Times
. Sources involved in the talks explain that Apple is hoping to collect fees from distributors in return for improving their TV service. For cable providers, the deals
would theoretically keep people paying for subscriptions, a worry in an age when services like Hulu, YouTube, and Netflix allow people to be free of cable or satellite packages.
The Time Warner app is expected to let people watch live or on-demand programming from their cable subscription without using a separate, cable-only set-top box. It should address a common complaint about cable boxes, which is that their interfaces are vastly inferior to what devices like the Apple TV and Roku are capable of. The latter, though, have so far been restricted to online-only services.