“After years of complaining about having to pay for obscure TV channels they never watch, American consumers might finally be getting their way,” Gerry Smith reports for Bloomberg. “Apple is in talks with broadcasters ABC, CBS and Fox to provide Web-based TV later this year, according to people familiar with the effort. Viacom is also negotiating with Apple, said one person. So is Discovery.”
“The industry buzzword is ‘skinny bundles,’ or Web services from providers such as Dish Network Corp. and Apple Inc. that offer just a few popular channels at a lower price,” Smith reports. “The whittled-down packages are putting pressure on programmers that have relied on the 500-channel pay-TV universe to carry their less-popular niche networks. Apple plans to debut an online service this year with about 25 channels, according to people familiar with the effort.”
“For years, TV programmers have paired their weaker channels with stronger ones to promote new shows and boost revenue. The average U.S. home receives 189 TV channels but only watches 17 of them, according to a report last year by Nielsen,” Smith reports. “Cable companies are already struggling to keep TV subscribers as more Americans watch video online on services like Netflix Inc. The rise of skinny bundles may lead even more people to abandon large TV packages. That poses a threat to networks that aren’t included in the new online TV services, said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Apple has the might to blow up and rebuild the cable/satellite paradigm which has become increasingly user unfriendly.