Apple Inc began talks earlier this year to stream films owned by EPIX, which is backed by three major movie studios, on devices including its long-anticipated TV, according to two sources with knowledge of the negotiations.
Apple, which now sells a US$99 set-top box that hooks up to a TV set and lets users stream online content from Netflix and the MLB channel, opened discussions with three-year-old EPIX, created by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, MGM and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures.
One of the sources said that any discussions would apply to its set-top box and also to upcoming devices that stream content. Apple is widely expected to unveil a full-fledged TV product later this year or early next year to drive its next phase of growth and potentially revolutionize the industry.
Apple has been stymied for much of the past year in securing marquee Hollywood content. Talks with EPIX are in the preliminary stages and no agreement is near, the source said.
The talks could be complicated by EPIX’s 2010 agreement with Netflix, which pays US$200 million a year for the rights to stream movies to its 23.4 million US clients. That deal gives Netflix exclusive streaming rights to EPIX movies through September — before Apple is expected to trot out its planned TV set.
Apple declined to comment on what it called “speculation.” A Netflix spokesman had no immediate comment and neither did an EPIX spokesman.
Netflix’s chief executive officer Reed Hastings said in an April 23 conference call with analysts that the DVD and streaming service was in a “broad range of discussions” with EPIX about “how to operate most effectively for both of us.”
EPIX currently offers movies such as Rango and The Lincoln Lawyer. It will soon add Thor and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Netflix said in a letter to investors.
Apple has become the world’s most valuable corporation by dint of the popularity of its iPhone, which helped revolutionize the smartphone industry, and its more recent iPad.
However, many on Wall Street say that with the death of visionary co-founder Steve Jobs, new chief executive officer Tim Cook could take the company forward with a new major product, such as the much-speculated Apple TV.
Apple unsuccessfully tried to secure agreements last year with Hollywood studios for movies and TV shows that it could fashion into its own TV service, according to studio executives. EPIX does not have agreements with larger cable operators like Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable or with satellite service DirecTV. It has contracts with the Dish satellite service, Cox Cable and other cable operators, it says on its Website.
Shares in Netflix closed down 1.6 percent at US$83.74 on the NASDAQ. Apple finished off 0.8 percent at US$603.
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and