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The cost of iTV

A rumor circulated this week on Engadget that Apple might be planning to rebrand Apple TV as iTV. As someone who grew up in the UK this looked immediately problematic for ITV, which is one of the larger UK television networks.

ITV subsequently announced that it has “vigorously defended” its IP in the past, which signals that it may be ready to do so again if necessary.

Let’s look at this another way: Business is all about money. While customers often become emotional about products, the Mac vs PC phenomenon being a recent example, companies are more concerned about maximizing shareholder value.

There is intangible value that can be crystallized out of brand IP in the form of goodwill, estimated loss of future opportunity and rebranding costs. If Apple does choose to go ahead and use the iTV name for Apple TV then any discussions with ITV about taking over the brand name would most likely include a quantification of these items. The outcome of those discussions would probably be determined by whether each party felt satisfied by the investment required (Apple) and compensation received (ITV) to make the trade.

So while ITV has made comments about its IP, I expect these are probably aimed at setting a starting point for negotiations if Apple elects to make a play for the iTV brand name rather than an outright dismissal. Everything has its price.

Neil Berman


Aug 14, 2010 - Posted by | Analysis, Home Theater, Photo & Video | , , ,

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