A new rumor has surfaced suggesting that Apple may be talking with premium cable channel EPIX about a potential deal to bring content to the long rumored Apple television set.
Citing “two people with knowledge of the negotiations,” Reuters reported today that Apple has been in talks with the EPIX cable channel, since earlier this year, to bring streaming content to its Apple TV set top box as well as to the long rumored Apple television set — also colloquially called the iTV. EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Lionsgate that appears as a premium cable channel on several cable and satellite services. It also provides a video on-demand option for its subscribers.
Apparently, the driving force behind the talks is that it could be a shortcut for Apple to gain three major Hollywood studios at the same time, as opposed to having negotiate with each one individually. We’ve heard other stories of where Apple has run into hurdles with content providers not wanting to work with the Cupertino-based company on the iTV, so Apple is definitely in need of some sort of success story to get others to come on board.
There are, however, two potential issues with this possible matchup. EPIX currently has a deal in place with Netflix to provide it with content, but that exclusive deal expires in September, the perfect timing for the rumored fourth quarter launch of the Apple television. Secondly, EPIX provides streams to set-top boxes such as Roku, which also requires its users to subscribe to the main cable channel. Unless this is some totally new form of deal, it doesn’t sound it’s going to be easy for Apple to offer new content.
As with all rumors, Apple has had no comment on the matter.