Peter Kafka, in an article headlined “Apple’s New TV Plan: Same TV, Different Box”:
The latest from the Wall Street Journal: Tim Cook is now more interested in a TV box than a TV set. Certainly plausible—just ask Tim Warner’s Jeff Bewkes, who was predicting this a month ago. But the bottom line hasn’t changed. Apple keeps poking at the TV industrial complex, and keeps concluding that it’s better off playing along than playing a new game.
I mention this mostly to call attention to the assumptions here: namely, that Apple was ever interested in making a TV set. They already make a TV box. Nobody ever provided a very convincing explanation for why Apple would want to make the whole set, beyond vague thoughts about how it might somehow make setting up a television easier—or even more vague pie-in-the-sky thoughts about how Apple would revolutionize television. Somehow.
The bottom line—still—is the bottom line. Kafka does go on to explain this correctly. The only way to “get people the stuff they want without paying for everything else” (i.e., the current cable/satellite model) is present a business model to individual studios and/or networks which will bring in equivalent or higher revenue than the business model they have now. For a host of reasons—mostly contractual—this is an either/or choice: they can have the current model or a new model, but not both.