Apple brings on former Time Warner exec, likely to lead streaming TV push

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member

Apple has added another experienced executive to its leadership team with the hire of Peter Stern, a former chief product, people and strategy officer at Time Warner Cable. Stern parted ways with the cable provider earlier this year after it was bought out by Charter Communications.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the hire which has been confirmed by Apple.

The 44-year-old executive is already quite familiar with Apple. In addition to helping his former employer navigate the unstable waters of multiple takeover attempts, Stern was reportedly involved in talks with Apple a few years ago with regard to bringing live television to Apple’s set-top box. Those talks stalled due to a number of issues and no deal was ever reached.

As The Journal notes, Stern is a vocal proponent of cable companies moving away from leasing proprietary set-top boxes to customers. Instead, he believes service providers should be focusing their efforts on creating apps that deliver TV service across a variety of devices.

Sources say Stern will serve as a vice president at Apple and will report directly to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services.

Although there’s no confirmation, it would seem as though Stern is being brought on to help lead Apple’s streaming television efforts. Numerous rumors over the years claim Apple has tried repeatedly to break into the industry – perhaps with a vision to reinvent it as it did with music and iTunes – but thus far, they’ve come up short.

Lead image courtesy Getty Images

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Posts: 674   +856
I have years of experience working in the cable/tv industry on the channel/VoD side. Apple didn't try to "break in" the industry so much as they tried to break the industry with Jobs at the helm. He wanted to negotiate long term fee contracts with cable networks over years (5+) at a set price for a few thousand subscribers at best. Cable networks are used to negotiating short term fee deals (a 2-5 years) with cable providers that have millions to tens of millions subscribers. These fees always go up and it's the cable provider that takes the brunt of angry phone calls when a cable network pulls channels.

Both Sony VUE and Dish's Sling seem to have beaten Apple to the punch on providing cable networks to customers across roku, android, and amazon devices. Unless Apple opens their cable offer to those devices (will never happen) why would networks offer below market fees to be on a few apple TV devices?


Posts: 2,390   +941
Nice suit and proper haircut. I can hear him now..."We are excited to embrace diversity in the....."


Posts: 585   +336
Tl;dr - Internet prices need to be cheaper before streaming cable will make sense for anyone.

100MB internet from Charter is still close $100 a month, that's a pretty ridiculous price tier.