Why Apple Is Pulling Back on Its TV Plans — and What It Means for the Future of TV

Dec 10, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Talks between Apple and TV programmers appear to be over for now, meaning a subscription TV service from Apple won’t be happening anytime soon, re/code reports. “Apple has walked away from the negotiating table,” the story reports.

While money is among the issues, the report notes: “Apple’s beef with the TV Industrial Complex is a bit more nuanced. It’s also a significant one: If Apple gets its way, TV will undergo a significant change, just like the music business did when Apple launched its iTunes store in 2003.”

Apple has reportedly been pushing for a “skinny” bundle of somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 core networks, with a retail price coming in at or below $30. That means a lot of channels will be left out, and that’s an issue for the programmers.

“While TV executives will say they understand that consumers don’t want to pay for channels they don’t watch, all of them will argue that their channels are must-haves,” re/code reports. “That means 21st Century Fox, for instance, is reluctant to sell Fox and Fox News without bundling in its FX channels or its new Fox Sports 1 network. The same goes for Disney (ABC, ESPN, Disney, etc.) and NBCUniversal (NBC, Bravo, USA, SyFy, etc.) and on down the line.”

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  1. Better just to cut the cord altogether anyway. An antenna will probably get you more channels than you’d think; here in Houston, there are more than 90! Connect the antenna through a splitter to a computer with a dual TV tuner card and then to your TV, you’ll have a DVR with the capability to record two things while you’re watching a 3rd on your TV, and, you’ll be able to stream just about anything you’d want to see. Total monthly cost? $ZERO.

  2. An antenna is not always an option for a lot of us. We live 50 miles plus from the closest local broadcasters. When everyone was transmitting using analog, we could pick up every station with a set of rabbit ears. Now, we need an antenna on a mast to bring in the stations, and even then the signal can vary wildly day to day.

    When it comes to cable, satellite or online streaming services, I hate paying for channels I never watch. I know a lot of channels would never survive unless they are tacked into bundles…however, should these channels continue to exist if they don’t really pull in the viewers? Viewers should be allowed to pay for the channels they actually watch, it is as simple as that.

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