Disney presses Apple to carry more channels on forthcoming Internet TV service

“Apple and Walt Disney executives in intensified negotiations in recent weeks are dealing with, among other things, the nettlesome issue of how many Disney-owned channels Apple will be required to carry on its long awaited Apple TV broadband video service,” Ronald Grover reports for TheStreet.

“According to people with knowledge of the talks, Disney is pressing Apple to take most if not all of its channels, which include several channel spinoffs of its mainstays ESPN and Disney Channel, while Apple wants to take fewer channels in a bid to keep the price down for its service, which is expected to be launched later this year,” Grover reports. “Apple hopes to announce content partners for its broadband video service in June, according to media reports, and to launch its subscriber service later in the year.”

Grover reports, “Apple is said to be aiming for a 25-channel offering priced at $30 to $40 a month.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With ESPN in the fold, pretty much whatever Disney wants, Disney gets.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill” for the heads up.]


  1. If it goes over the basic (The price will have to follow.), it will be just another cable service – maybe with better customer service – with all the pricing and bullshit channels that would entice consumers to the product to begin with. If I were Apple in this negotiation, I’d leave out Disney and allow them to create an app where consumers can subscribe directly with Disney to get. Take themselves out of the bloat game that all the providers try to push – and use to justify their charges although the fact that you have another channel that you will rarely if ever watch does not justify a higher price at all.

    1. Actually the BIGGEST difference between what we have with cable versus a broadband connection could be access to a channel’s entire back library (or a limited subset of it). THAT would definitely be worth more money than what cable offers.

    2. At $30 for 30 channels, it’s on par with any other Cable TV pricing. Why bother?

      The real question is what other value they could bring to the table as part of a service like this.

      1. Correct in Jobs being the largest single shareholder (due to Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, of which Jobs owned over half), but it was actually only a few percent of Disney….no more than 10%, if I remember correctly…

  2. Great. Walt wants us to pay for all seven dwarfs when we really want to watch sleeping beauty. A la carte, anyone? Steve, please talk some sense into Walt — or give him a call if he’s not in the same place you are!

  3. iTV Store where each channel is $.99/month! Yeah, I know TV won’t go for that, but that is exactly why we now get few good channels and a bunch of crap with cable. It’s just like buying albums before iTunes Store: two good songs and ten or eleven that were crap.

  4. They could do a big favor to the non-sports watchers in its audience by offering a bundle that does NOT include ESPN. ESPN is the most expensive non-premium cable channel and is one of the leading reasons why cable bills are so outrageously expensive these days. ESPN costs over $8 a month. Normal cable channels are about 14 cents. So If Apple wants an affordable option, let users who don’t want sports to tell Disney to stuff it. By all means, offer it to those who want to pay for it. Otherwise Apple’s service will be as bloated and expensive as cable tv is now.

    1. There was an article in Advertising Weekly last year about how only 30% of the people who have ESPN would actually choose to buy it à la carte – Disney knows this and is desperate to maintain the status quo and the $7 billion a year it brings in. I gave up cable because I was tired to subsidizing content I didn’t watch – which included ESPN. It’s like sending Disney a check for $8 a month for absolutely nothing.

        1. Not sure just which ‘reality’ you’re referring to:

          * The one where highly expensive stuff like ESPN is shoved down everyone’s throat through bundling?

          * The one where it is often a “Bubba” demographic that slurps up the Live Sports (not just ESPN) content…?

          * …or has that morphed to the white-collar Bubba wannabes with their big SUV and McMansion as the only ones who can afford the big expensive bundle (the real Bubbas now watch it out at the local bar)?

          And so on. The reality for some of us is that the corporate “tax” being charged to let us relax and kill off free time by watching sports has turned us off as consumers of them years ago, and we no longer miss them.


  5. This sounds really crappy:

    …how many Disney-owned channels Apple will be required to carry

    IOW: It’s the same old GAG THE CUSTOMER WITH UNWANTED FLOTSAM, which will of course be reflected accordingly in an inflated price tag. This crappy idea is NOT what customers want. WE WANT: À la carte.

    Basic capitalist concept applied to media: Let EACH ‘channel’ survive on-its-own, letting the FREE MARKET decide what survives and what dies. NO BUNDLES EVER, unless that is what the customer specifically chooses, all by themselves.

    Anything else is just regressive legacy enablement, aka propping up crap product with treasure product. NOT acceptable.

    So Disney? SHOVE IT.

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