Report: Apple halts plan for live TV service

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Ditches Live TV Plans For Now.

Apple has suspended an initiative to bring a live television service to its AppleTV device, frustrating hopes that users could soon forego basic cable for an Apple-sponsored bundle.The company has long been rumoured to be looking to set up its own live TV service, which would take over from cable and run on its recently-updated Apple TV set-top box.

Apple’s plan to sell a package of about 14 channels for $30 to $40 a month has run into resistance from media companies that want more money for their programming. Apple Inc has suspended plans to offer a live Internet-based television service and is instead focusing on being a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers through its App Store, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. To break the logjam, Apple would either have to charge more, or the media companies would have to accept less. “This will happen,” Mr Moonves said. “It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30-$35, $40 maybe.

The traditional TV companies are also worried that offering the new service would lead to people moving away from existing — and more lucrative — cable deals. Apple hasn’t given up on the effort all together, but it looks like customers’ hopes for a 2016 launch isn’t going to happen. “We ultimately believe Cook & Co. need to offer content and eventually go down the streaming-TV/cord-cutting path given the changing dynamics in the consumer media landscape,” Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR & Co., wrote in a note. With streaming music already in its back pocket and an enhanced Apple TV now finally released, the stage was set for Apple to ink its streaming TV deals heading into 2016, although it appears negotiations/price points forced Cook to walk away from the negotiation table for now on this potentially game-changing endeavor. Unlike with the music business, where Apple quickly negotiated an agreement to sell songs and albums through iTunes, discussions have been rumoured for some time. That approach may make it harder for Apple’s set-top box, which was released in October, to stand out in an increasingly crowded market where Roku, Amazon.com and Google also offer customers the ability to buy subscriptions to television programming.

Apple effectively worked with music executives to get its streaming music service off the ground, but pushback from media networks has been much more fraught. In addition, cable, satellite and phone providers like Comcast, Dish Network and Verizon Communications are selling smaller, less expensive bundles of channels, sometimes delivered over the internet. Apple’s decision to put its TV plans on hold is the latest challenge in a years-long drive that also included an effort to partner with cable companies. That’s left negotiations in a tough spot, though at least some leaders know that the service will inevitably launch. “This will happen,” CBS CEO Les Moonves, said at Business Insider’s Ignite Conference Tuesday. “People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch.”

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