Apple in talks to launch online TV service this year, report says
Service would feature 25 of the biggest American networks
Apple Inc. is in talks with U.S. media companies to offer a slimmed-down bundle of channels this fall as part of an online streaming TV service, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple's iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.
- Apple shareholders urge CEO Tim Cook to link up with Tesla
- Apple reveals watch prices and apps, unveils shiny gold MacBook
Apple has been talking to Walt Disney Co., CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and other media companies to offer a "skinny" bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.
The service is expected to be launched in September.
The talks do not involve NBCUniversal, owner of the NBC broadcast network and cable channels like USA and Bravo, because of a falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast Corp, the newspaper said.
Service would cost about $30 a month, report says
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the company does not comment on rumour and speculation. Fox and CBS declined to comment.
According to the report, Apple would be aiming to price the service at around $30 to $40 US a month. There were no details in the article about how much the service would cost, or whether it might be available, in Canada.
HBO plans to roll out its HBO Now streaming-only service this year, and CBS launched its All Access online streaming service last October.
HBO Now is not offered in Canada due to exclusive rights held by CraveTV for streaming HBO content. All Access is only available in the U.S.
Canadian media companies have also jumped on the digital TV trend to compete with rival Netflix. In November, Rogers and Shaw launched the joint subscription video venture Shomi. Bell's video-on-demand service CraveTV, which launched in December, is available as an add-on to most TV customers of Eastlink, Telus and Bell.
With files from CBC News