Coming off an announcement last week that it would carry thes oon to launch HBO Now streaming service, Apple reportedly has imminent plans to offer online access to live TV and on-demand content.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in talks with programmers to offer a streaming TV service and on-demand library that could launch as soon as this fall. The inclusion of broadcast networks would differentiate the product from Dish’s Sling TV, which does not currently include access to these live network feeds.
According to sources, the service – which would be available on all devices powered by Apple’s iOS system –would start with about 25 channels, including broadcasters ABC, CBS and FOX.
Noticeably missing from the proposed lineup is NBC Universal and its slew of broadcast and cable channels including USA and Bravo. The sources tell the WSJ that the omission is a result of a falling out between NBC Universal’s parent company Comcast and Apple.
The two companies had previously been in talks to create a streaming television platform using Apple’s set-top box and streaming through Comcast’s network of cables, thereby foregoing the congestion of using the Web, the WSJ reports.
The idea behind the service is to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels and leave the smaller networks for consumers to purchase in standard cable TV packages.
The sources tell the WSJ that the service, which could cost between $30 and $40, might be part of a June announcement with an official launch coming in September.
Apple’s foray into streaming TV service comes as similar products have recently hit the market and traditional TV viewership has dropped.
In January, Dish Network partnered with Sling to create streaming television product Sling TV, which costs $20. That streaming service was years in the making as the company continued to lockdown programing, it actually added new channels options earlier today.
Consumers are still waiting on Sony’s upcoming streaming service PlayStation Vue, which is reportedly set to launch with around 75 channels in the coming weeks. Sony has still not confirmed a price, though it’s believed Vue will go in the $50-80/month price range.
Apple Plans Web TV Service in Fall [The Wall Street Journal]