AWT News Update: January 19, 2016

Here's all the Apple news that didn't make it onto the website today:

  • ESPN's president says they're still in talks with Apple for a streaming service
  • The founder of a company acquired by Apple in 2012 is leaving the company after being responsible for the look and feel of the new Apple TV's software
  • Verizon announces a new free data service for businesses, one that may attract an FCC investigation

Text is below, and if you'd like to see the video of the podcast recording, it's here. 

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for January 19, 2016.

ESPN president John Skipper told the Wall Street Journal that his network is still in discussions with Apple about providing a streaming service on the Apple TV. Skipper said that Apple is “creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience and that television experience is fabulous for sports.” Continuing with his use of the word fabulous, Skipper mentioned that Apple TV would be a “fabulous place” to sell subscriptions and mentioned that the two companies are continuing to have conversations about such a deal. His comments in the article seem to indicate that Apple still wants to work on a cable-cutter’s bundle of channels for less than $30 per month, although reports in December indicated that Apple was putting the bundling efforts on ice due to networks wanting to add all of their many channels to the bundle.

Chomp co-founder Ben Keighran is leaving Apple. His company was bought out by Apple four years ago as a way to provide universal search capabilities in iTunes, the App Stores, and the new Apple TV. Keighran provided oversight for “the look and feel of the software on the new Apple TV” according to a report on Re/code and was well down on the corporate totem pole from iTunes veep Eddy Cue. When asked what he’s planning on doing, Keighran said that “I want to create not just a killer product, but my own iconic company.”

Verizon today announced FreeBee Data, a service that lets businesses sponsor data access so Verizon subscribers can load apps, visit websites and make downloads without incurring any data usage on their plans. Two versions of FreeBee Data are available, with the basic model covering data on a per-click basis. An example of this would be a movie studio sponsoring access to a movie trailer - a FreeBee icon would let Verizon customers know they could stream it for free. The second plan is called FreeBee Data 360, which operates on a per-gigabyte model and would cover data for visiting a specific website or downloading an entire app. Just think: you could visit AOL’s many sites for free when Verizon sponsors its 2015 acquisition!AT&T currently has a similar service in place called Sponsored Data. Both companies may run into issues with the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, which say that all Internet traffic must be treated equally. Businesses unable to afford sponsoring data could be seen by the FCC as being unfairly left out. AT&T’s plan is already being investigated by the FCC, so Verizon may not be far behind.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of the AWT News Update.