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Apple to pair with CBS, Walt Disney to take on cable, satellite: WSJ

Apple, the company that has dominated digital music distribution, may be taking on television, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Such a move could transform the cable and satellite television landscape as more users turn to watching their favorite shows and movies online. According to Nielsen research, online video consumption rose 34.9 percent in the 3rd quarter from the same period last year.

According to the Journal, CBS and Walt Disney are considering a deal with Apple to join a plan to create an iTunes subscription-based service for online video.

The move would come amid great change in the television industry. Comcast's pending merger with NBC Universal will give the nation's biggest cable and Internet distributor one of the media industry's greatest franchises, owning about one out of every five viewing hours of television content. Comcast has launched its online video strategy, called Xfinity. With it, subscribers to both Comcast cable and broadband Internet could gain access to a huge library of shows via computers or other authenticated devices with an Internet browser.

Competitors have said the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, which must pass regulatory muster, would spark a shuffling of business plans within the industry. Cable and satellite distributors and broadcast and cable programming companies are searching for ways to make money off the Internet, which doesn't always offer the same advertising and subscription revenues as traditional cable models.

By Cecilia Kang  |  December 22, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Apple , Comcast , Online Video  
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