Don’t Expect Apple’s Live-TV Streaming Service Until 2016

Sony and Dish have already shown, through their PlayStation Vue and Sling TV services, that it’s possible to sell a cable-TV-ish live-TV streaming service. Apple is expected to launch a service of its own in the coming months, but a new report says the company is having trouble licensing content and has had to delay its live-TV offering until 2016.

This is according to Bloomberg, which reports that Apple has hit some speed bumps in its negotiations with CBS and Fox.

While Dish’s Sling TV doesn’t currently offer any network TV programming, Sony’s PS Vue has deals in its markets to carry at least some local network feeds, in addition to some Fox Sports channels. Additionally, Sony is selling access to CBS-owned Showtime’s recently launched streaming service.

According to Bloomberg, Apple wanted to offer its upcoming service starting at $40/month, which is $10 less than the cheapest Vue plan and about half the price of a comparable cable package. In order to make any money at that price point, Apple needs broadcasters to give them a really good deal on licensing fees. However, the trend for the last decade is for content providers to raise their prices, not offer discounts.

Apple had reportedly been hoping to unveil the TV-streaming service at an early September press event, and Bloomberg says the company will still show off an improved version of its Apple TV device. But since it won’t be able to tout the content available for live-TV streaming, Apple has decided to push this service off until the next calendar year.

There is also the issue of computing power. Bloomberg reports that Apple’s back-end isn’t yet ready to stream live TV to millions of users. Sony has been slowly rolling out its Vue service in select markets and still is not available in much of the country, but Apple reportedly wants to go nationwide from the start, which requires a more robust network and more data centers around the country to serve local demand.