FCC’s proposed television rule changes could benefit Apple

Federal regulators are expected to propose overhauling rules for television set-top boxes, a move aimed at lowering bills for cable viewers and providing more access to Internet-based programming, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The proposal by Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, likely would involve giving cable and satellite customers more choice in whether to use their service provider’s set-top box and cable app, or use their own unit (as long as it met industry specs).

As noted by AppleInsider, such changes could benefit Apple, which has run into problems both in attempts to work with cable companies and go around them directly to content owners. 

What do we know about Apple's rumored TV service, which I call Apple Web TV? The Wall Street Times says that Apple has talked — to no avail, so far — with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. Apple purportedly wants the service to offer about 25 channels for US$30 and $40 per month. Apple’s Web TV offering will reportedly be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package.

The rumor mill says the original plan was for Apple Web TV to launch aside the fourth gen Apple TV. That didn’t happen, apparently because the company couldn’t hammer out deals with various TV networks and companies.