1.) The number one reason Apple should buy Time Warner Cable (TWC) is to step up and be the agent of change to boldly redefine two industries--Cable TV and ISPs--both in desperate need of a good swift kick in the pants. Be the game changer! Do it better! Thats a big part of the Apple brand promise.

We'll show up on time!

We'll show up on time!

Apple could profoundly demonstrate to the big Multi Service Operators (MSOs) like cable and satellite as well as the entrenched media brands that there is life after cord cutting. It is time to show there is a profitable business model and a world of new innovation and audience engagement to be had.

The MSOs are afraid to go on-demand for fear of pissing off the media brands, the media brands are afraid of devaluing their distribution deals with MSOs everyone is afraid of everyone else and they are all paralyzed with the fear of the unknown. Someone needs to just step up and DO IT. Apple is one of the few believable candidates to pull that off.

2.) The second reason is; it makes good business sense for Apple. Apple can finally bring Apple TV into the market in a meaningful way. There is no technical reason we can't have a cloud based DVR service to watch cloud based TV content that is on demand and available across all the platforms and screens in our lives. The hurdles are the legacy content business deals, exclusivity deals, and all the other exclusionary content prisons that prevent innovation. Even Intel had to abandon their cloud DVR technology due to the impasse of content deals.

But Apple and TWC already have content deals. Yes, the deals would need to be evolved, but the combined pressure of Apple+TWC, together might be enough to quickly get them 75% or 85% there. The last few hold outs would be eventually pressured to participate, except CBS, who will spend their last dying gasp in court litigating all forms of innovation. For CBS, the glass isn't half empty, it's just empty.

If I'm paying $100 or more for Cable programming on my TV, would I pay the same for a cloud DVR service on all my screens including my TV? Netflix $7.99, + Apple TV $99 you betcha, sign me up! 

3.) The third reason is that a new Apple ISP business along with Google fiber can independently (or jointly) define a best practices and a forward vision for all ISPs and put meaningful market pressure on the entrenched monopolies like Verizon, AT&T, COX and others to lower prices and increase speed and reliability.  Apple wins if they can ease up on the squeeze and open the pipes so high quality content can flow at reasonable prices.

Apple also wins by adding additional MSO/ISP services such as voice (iPhone's version of Google voice?) and perhaps more importantly, the emerging home automation and security product sectors that are well serviced by a direct wired connection into the home. Home automation products like NEST and Philips LED lighting as well as next generation security products offer Apple a huge new set of hardware products to add to their stagnating product categories. Their stock price would go through the roof.

4.) The fourth reason is to flip TWC on the issue of Net Neutrality (NN) and begin to lobby the FCC with a fresh, consumer-focused voice that counteracts the self-interests of the Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon cartel. All of Apple's products and services will thrive in a world rooted in NN. Users can download iTunes music and movies without busting a data cap, or buffering from peering slowdowns. It's time that Google and Apple get a meaningful seat at that table.

5.) Fifth and last, but not least, the ISP business is at best a commodity, a utility, or at least it should be. But that doesn't mean there isn't money to be made purely as an ISP. The potential Comcast+TWC deal maxes out against anti-trust regulations, but an Apple+TWC deal has a ton of headroom to grow and consolidate, potentially offering enough market pressure to ensure fairness and pro-consumer practices across both the MSO and ISP sectors for years to come.

Apple, everyone wins, especially you!  It's not like you don't have the cash or credit to blow up the Comcast deal to the cheers of missions of consumers. It's a slam dunk!

Posted
AuthorRichard Cardran