Yesterdays announcement of the Comcast Stream OTT service for cord cutters to get some TV networks and more, may be more a defensive strategy. Not just against the increasing loss of cable subscribers to cord cutting, but to the rise of competitive OTT services. While Sling TV does not offer broadcast nets and TabletTV relies on a digital antenna to capture OTA digital broadcast nets, the real competitor has yet to announce.
Many outlets have been reporting that Apple is successfully negotiating broadcast network and affiliate deals for local broadcast market channels. That means a person living in Des Moines would get their local ABC affiliate while the person in Syracuse would get their local ABC network. With deals being finalized, Apple is said to have the platform ready to go to give consumers a low cost streaming line-up of channels for access across all devices. It just may be that Comcast knows more of Apple's streaming plan as a result of its ownership of the NBC Broadcasting Network. And knowing that NBC has FCC requirements to force it to follow what other broadcasters agree to may be why Comcast has announced its Stream service quickly. Apple may make its own announcement later this Fall per The New York Post.
The days of jiggling an antenna on the roof to get best signal quality may be decades behind us; still, the transmission of TV signals continues to improve dramatically. The rise of streaming enables more interactive options, more screen choices, more flexibility, and perhaps more revenue opportunities too. And Apple could change the very notion of what a cable franchise once meant.