“What cable channels make the cut and are included in Apple’s expected Web TV service could take on more significance after the recent sell-off in media and entertainment stocks,” Reinhardt Krause reports for Investor’s Business Daily. “Apple, it’s widely reported, has been in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks. While Apple is said to be keen on including live broadcast networks NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox, its plans for cable TV channels remain unknown.”
“UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson, in a research report Tuesday on Discovery, calls Apple’s Web TV launch a wild card for cable channels,” Krause reports. “‘Key for (Discovery) shares will be continuing ratings strength, investors gaining comfort with the pace of decline for the U.S. pay-TV bundle, whether Discovery will be included in any Apple TV OTT (over the top, or Web TV) offering (at reasonable economics), and the health of the TV ad market this fall,’ he said in the report.”
“The biggest media firms that own broadcast TV networks as well as popular cable channels, such as Disney’s ESPN sports channel, might be best-positioned to hammer out a deal with Apple. However, Apple’s talks with Comcast, owner of NBCU, reportedly hit a rough patch earlier this year,” Krause reports. “Apple is said to be mulling a Web TV service with about 25 channels, priced around $35 a month. The service had long been anticipated, but many observers don’t see it becoming a reality this year.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Internet TV service will have to have ESPN. It will also likely require the “Big Four” networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) – although it could launch with three out of four and eventually hammer out a deal with whichever one is being the most reticent.
What else would you consider to be must-haves?
Beyond the Big Four, if you go by ratings (total viewers), the top 20 cable networks are:
7. Fox News
12. Adult Swim
13. Nick at Nite
15. ABC Family
Source: Nielsen estimates, full year 2014