“The big TV premiere this fall could be the unbundling of TV,” Yvonne Villarreal and Meg James report for The Los Angeles Times. “Apple Inc. is in discussions with major TV programmers, including Fox, CBS and ABC, to create a ‘skinny’ TV service for its Apple TV product and other Apple devices, according to people close to the companies who asked not to be identified.”
“Apple is preparing to announce its new slenderized bundle of TV networks in June and have it ready to launch in September to coincide with the start of the fall TV season,” Villarreal and James report. “The Apple TV package would consist of about 25 channels, cutting out those outskirt networks that traditionally bulk up cable TV bundles. Apple is most interested in doing a deal with the broadcast networks, such as Fox and ABC, and is interested in including sister cable channels such as FX and ESPN in its offering.”
“The service could offer frustrated pay TV customers a lower-cost option,” Villarreal and James report. “Apple last week announced that it has a deal to be the exclusive digital device partner for HBO’s stand-alone digital service, HBO Now, that will launch in April. The service will cost consumers $14.99 a month. Last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook hinted that Apple would become a bigger player in TV.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Well, not totally unbundled, but it’s likely as close to à la carte as we’re likely to get for some time.
The bundling of “networks” (channels) supports the operation of some that couldn’t cut it on their own, so it has some positives and some negatives. Pure free market proponents would say that we should just let the market decide, but that would likely result in dramatically reduced choices (buh-bye Smithsonian Channel or [insert your fav(s) with low viewership here]).
Of course, if pure à la carte existed, we’d end up with 17 channels, which is a whopping five (5) channels more than we had before cable television (2-13), so some sort of bundling probably has to exist for the foreseeable future regardless of what Apple manages to do.
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Apple in talks to unveil 25-channel online TV service in June, launch in fall – March 16, 2015
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