Apple’s Internet TV: How many TV networks will make the cut?

“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:

2. USA
3. TNT
4. Disney
5. TBS
6. History
7. Fox News
8. FX
9. Discovery
10. AMC
11. HGTV
12. Adult Swim
13. Nick at Nite
14. A&E
15. ABC Family
16. Lifetime
17. Syfy
18. Food
19. TLC
20. Bravo

Source: Nielsen estimates, full year 2014


    1. GOD BLESS FOX NEWS for telling the truth, the whole truth, so help them GOD! All my family and friends keep it on 24/7, just so we can help the ratings! We actually broke our remote, so we can’t change the channel!
      I’ll never understand why we even have other news stations. Who would ever want another opinion besides THE BLESSED FOLKS AT FOX?
      (God Bless you too, Fist! You sexy, sexy Man!) 😘

    2. Well, Fwhatever, that leaves a couple of hundred million people who do *not* watch Fox News. Besides, Fox News is designed specifically to capture a particular U.S. demographic. People who fall outside that demographic are split among the remaining news options. And the many people obtain their news from sources other than TV.

      It is also worth noting that truth is not defined by how many people happen to believe in a certain viewpoint. The vast majority of people used to believe that the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth. They were wrong. The day that you realize that some of your viewpoints might be in error is the day that I see some hope for the future of this country.

    3. So many unfortunate, misinformed souls. The good thing is that their viewer base is steadily dying off as younger people wise up to how false and poisonous their rhetoric and shady “journalism” tactics really are.

  1. NCAA and professional football, basketball, and baseball are the monsters of sports in US – worth several billions of dollars. If Apple gives me access to these I would be content.

  2. That top 20 list is almost perfection except I’d replace Bravo with NatGeo. Does Starz offer direct subscriptions yet? Showtime began shortly after HBO but Starz is my favorite of the premium suites.

  3. Give us Fox and the first 9 from the list. Screw the rest and particularly anything Comcast/NBC. And with just rabbit ears anyone can receive broadcast channels in HD so just add a switch to the box. Problem solved, get it done.

  4. It shouldn’t be a matter of signing each individual network. Wouldn’t deals with Comcast, Disney, Fox, and Viacom take care of at least most of that list?

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