The Financial Times has reported that Apple almost bought Time Warner in 2015 and is still very much interested in creating original TV content, as previously reported.
According to the FT, it was Apple exec Eddy Cue who first raised the idea at a meeting with Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy Olaf Olafsson. However, negotiations remained light and Apple CEO Tim Cook wasn’t involved in direct discussions at any stage.
The company’s ambitions within TV are still hot though, Cook recently said as much while talking at Startup Fest earlier this week. Meanwhile, the above article notes that Apple still wants to draw in further media company talent and will ramp up original content spending to “several hundred million dollars a year.”
Back to Time Warner, Apple is known for making significant acquisitions in its time – just look at the $3bn Beats acquisition in 2014 – and it has no shortage of cash, but the Time Warner deal would have eclipsed it many times over. According to the stock market, Time Warner is valued at around $60 billion thanks to its ownership of the likes of HBO and CNN.
Still, what’s that to a business that has cash pile of $230 billion+?
Apple’s previous TV plans have also involved offering a ‘skinny’ TV channel bundle but plans stumbled when providers felt the amount Apple wanted to sell the bundle for was devaluing the product.