WSJ: Apple’s ‘hard nosed’ bargaining tactics are why the company has no streaming TV service

Apple’s “hard nosed” bargaining tactics are the reason we’ve yet to see an Apple streaming TV service — if we ever do, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Apple Inc. executives had every reason for optimism when they approached Walt Disney Co. in early 2015 to join the streaming television service Apple planned to launch. Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger is an Apple director and had said he was keen to strike a deal,” the article says. “Disney, which owns channels such as ESPN and ABC, was stunned, though, when Apple executive Eddy Cue made demands that would have upended decades of cable-industry [business tactics]. In particular, Apple wanted to freeze for several years the monthly rate per viewer it would pay to license Disney channels. TV channels usually get annual rate increases and rely on them to fuel profit growth. Disney balked. Similar talks with media giants that included 21st Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. also stalled.”

What do we know about Apple's rumored TV service, which I call Apple Web TV? The Wall Street Times has said previously that Apple has talked — to no avail, so far — with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. Apple purportedly wants the service to offer about 25 channels for US$30 and $40 per month. Apple’s Web TV offering will reportedly be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package.