updated 01:00 pm EDT, Thu May 27, 2010
NBC and Time Warner hoping Flash bites Apple
A number of major studios that include NBC and Time Warner are deliberately rejecting HTML5 video in favor of Flash, rumors maintained today. TV networks have allegedly told Apple they have no plans to switch as the cost and results wouldn't be worthwhile. None of the involved companies has confirmed or denied the remarks.
The direct confrontation would be a potential bargaining chip that would reduce Apple's power with the media, the NY Post sources said. While they didn't rule out native iPad apps, one of which may be in development for Hulu, leaving the web versions as Flash would give more power to competing tablets like the Dell Streak or HP Slate. Google TV would also gain the upper hand over projects like Apple TV as a result. Both NBC and Time Warner currently want Flash as it lets them either insert ads or prevent easy copying.
Whether or not the strategy works isn't certain. The Streak currently runs Android 1.6 and would be ineligible for using Flash until at least September, when an OS upgrade is due. The HP slate also may not ship until October and could leave opposing studios at a disadvantage for months.
Their opinions may also be in the minority, as ABC, CBS and Fox have already implemented partial or total options for viewing their videos on the iPad for free through either HTML5 or native apps. Owners can already watch some NBC content on a subscription through the Netflix app.