Apple is reportedly finishing up talks with major television networks for a low-cost streaming service for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV set-top box.
The service, which could be announced later this year, would offer a bundle of channels that is smaller and cheaper than the bloated catalog of offerings in a typical cable subscription, said these people, who asked not to be named because the conversations were confidential and not completed. The plan would potentially offer networks owned by the television groups Disney, Fox, CBS and Discovery, the people said Tuesday. That could include the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and Fox, along with a lineup of other cable networks, such as ESPN and Discovery Channel. The total number of networks to be offered is yet to be determined. Apple is not including all of the networks owned by each of the TV groups, signaling yet another fraying of the traditional cable bundle. No deal has been reached yet, the people said.
Insiders are putting the cost of the service at $20 to $30 per month, which is comparable to the similar Sling TV service recently launched by Dish Network. According to the above-linked report, Comcast and its NBCUniversal group are not yet involved in the discussions with Apple, meaning that the service could launch without programming from NBC, USA, Bravo, Syfy, Telemundo, and Comcast’s other networks.