Apple’s head of internet software and services Eddy Cue discussed the problems with the current television landscape during an interview at Vanity Fair’s conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
It’s particularly notable because Cue leads Apple’s television efforts, including its Apple TV and the shows currently available through iTunes.
“I do think television needs to be reinvented. Today, you live with a glorified VCR,” Cue said. “The problem is the interface.”
“It’s really hard to use [a cable box or satellite TV]. Setting something to record, if you didn’t watch something last night, if you didn’t set it to record, it’s hard to find, it may not be available. There may be some rights issues,” Cue said.
“It’s great to be able to tell your device, ‘I wanna watch the Duke basketball game, I don’t care what channel it’s on.’ I just want to watch the Duke basketball game. Today you got to bring in the TV, go through the guide, find which sports programs or whatever – it’s just hard to do.”
Since 2009, Cue had led on-and-off negotiations with content owners to build an Apple-made live TV package that would be delivered over the internet to Apple devices. But those talks fell through – some media insiders reportedly blame Cue’s negotiating style – and now Apple’s plan is to create a digital TV guide that organizes shows and content hidden inside various apps.
Cue’s comments seemed to be directly addressing a future in which Apple could organize content from the likes of HBO, Netflix, and ESPN.
Apple is also rumored to be interested in making its own high-quality TV shows. Cue did not directly say that was in the company’s plans, but he didn’t deny it either, and said Apple would have made the popular HBO show “Game of Thrones” if it had the opportunity.