If you were hoping for an Apple streaming video/television service in early 2016, you may be disappointed. Bloomberg reports that our favorite tech company has suspended plans to offer an online TV service, and will focus on helping media companies directly sell content via its online stores.
Don’t give up hope entirely. Bloomberg says Apple isn't completely giving up on providing a live TV service, but says the original plan to sell 14 or so channels for US$30-$40/month has "run into resistance from media companies that want more money for their programming." Media execs have said they expect Apple and other new entrants pay more per channel than pay-TV incumbents.
The report comes shortly after CBS CEO Les Moonves stated Apple had put its online TV service plans — which I call Apple Web TV — “on hold." Moonves still expects Apple to eventually offer such a service.
"It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30 to $35, $40 maybe,” he says. “People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch.”
Talks to license programming from TV networks such as those owned by CBS Corp. and 21st Century Fox are progressing slowly because Apple wants to offer a package of popular channels for US$40 a month, reports Bloomberg, quoting unnamed "people familiar with Apple's plans." What's more, the Cupertino, California-based company doesn’t yet have the computer network capacity in place to ensure a good viewing experience, the article adds.
The Wall Street Journal and Re/code have also reported of TV service plans, while Variety has reported of talks with Hollywood studios to finance original content. Apple Web TV was, at one time, expected to debut alongside the fourth generation Apple TV.