Apple is putting together its own online television service and is assembling a bundle of about 25 channels, with launch plans for fall of this year, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources who are familiar with the situation.
The company is reportedly in talks with programmers including ABC, CBS and Fox, but because of what is described in the story as a falling-out between Apple and Comcast Corp., NBCUniversal is not currently included in the negotiations, according to the sources.
The service would be offered through devices such as Apple TV.
At this point, the NBC broadcast network and NBCUniversal cable properties such as USA and Bravo are not in the plans.
“Apple and Comcast were in talks as recently as last year about working together on a streaming television platform that would combine Apple’s expertise in user interfaces with Comcast’s strength in broadband delivery,” WSJ reports. “Apple came to believe that Comcast was stringing it along while the cable giant focused on its own X1 Web-enabled set-top box, the people said. One media executive said it may be difficult for Apple to launch a service without NBCUniversal channels.”
Media execs have said pricing is expected to be about $30 to $40 a month. An official announcement of the service is expected in June, with launch following in September.
“The idea is to offer consumers a ‘skinny’ bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, while leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package,” the story notes.
The service would be compatible with iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads.