Apple and Comcast enter TV streaming discussions

24 March 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


Apple is reportedly in talks with cable provider Comcast about a joint streaming-television service, which could see Comcast provide enhanced services on its cable network.

According to sources, Comcast is planning to avoid potential net neutrality issues by treating Apple's video streams as a managed service. As part of present legislation, net neutrality rules have an exemption for "specialised" or managed services.

Although a US court ruling in January made a major dent in US net neutrality provisions, Comcast is still bound by the rules until 2018, because of commitments it made in exchange for gaining approval of its acquisition of NBC Universal in 2011.

The news of discussions between Apple and Comcast follows the deal between Comcast and internet television network Netflix for improved internet services.

The FCC is presently drafting a new net neutrality bill, which would oblige network operators to disclose exactly how they manage internet traffic.

Last month, Comcast announced plans to submit its application for its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable to the FCC by the end of March this year.