Fox’s James Murdoch, CBS’s Les Moonves hint at looming Apple Web TV service launch

“No, CBS chief executive Les Moonves and 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch did not say Apple by name, but management commentary on media company earnings calls hinted that an Apple Web TV service launch could be on the way, says an R.W. Baird analyst,” Reinhardt Krause reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“William Power, an analyst at R.W. Baird, says Q3 media comments suggest that live, OTT (over-the-top) offers from Apple or perhaps may be coming, though timing, as usual, is unclear,” Krause reports. “Apple’s long-awaited Web TV service is expected to raise the bar for live streaming, thanks to its expected line-up of broadcast TV and sports.”

We anticipate some of the conversations we are having with new streaming distribution service not yet in the market will result in new revenue and will augment existing viewing alternatives. — 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch

There is a very good chance that one or more major media or tech companies will launch a new skinny bundle next year, leading to significant incremental subscription revenue for us. — CBS chief executive Les Moonves

“Apple is expected to offer a low-priced TV package, starting at around $40 monthly, with limited channels,” Krause reports. “So-called ‘skinny bundles’ are believed to appeal to the young adults called millennials”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Forgive us if we decline to hold our collective breath. It’s quite possible that without Steve Jobs’ help, Eddy Cue couldn’t get ink in a stationery store. Just kidding (sort of)! But, boy this is taking eons to accomplish, isn’t it?

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. That said, having already missed the launch of the new Apple TV, Apple might as well wait until they have a full dance card.

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

Apple’s Internet TV service could be ‘Netflix on steroids’ – September 1, 2015
Just because Apple may be getting into original content doesn’t mean it can produce good shows – September 1, 2015
Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Media companies want Apple to charge more than $40/month for Internet TV service – August 28, 2015
Apple’s Internet TV: How many TV networks will make the cut? – August 18, 2015


  1. I don’t get the big deal over skinny bundles. Basically it’s a cable package with just fewer channels. I can already stream live TV ouside my house using my DirecTV iPad app. Why would I sign up for Apple’s service when it may not even have all the channels I want?

    1. Uh, it’s called savings – if it’s live programming….
      The 5 nets, amc, ae, hgtv, history, CN, FX.

      Rally skinny.

      But it’ll never happen. Cable will just jack up internet prices to reflect the loss of revenue and use of bandwidth.

      Apple wants to brake the mold – offer Internet and skinny package for $99 and watch cable tv become a thing of the past.

      Never. Happen.

  2. I am happy with FREE apps that play shows 24 hours after their initial broadcast and with imbedded commercials. If I’m paying for a service, I want the shows on the HBO schedule – available immediately after broadcast, and without commercials!

  3. Over Air Broadcasting is going the way of the Dodo Bird. As that happens program producers will need some other source of revenue or as the well drys up they will go out of business. Why should you expect free access just because it delivered by an app?

  4. Popular sports channels (other than broadcasters) keeping homes hooked to cable include: NFL Red Zone during football season, MLB network during baseball season, ESPN1/2/others, SEC/Big 10/FS1/FSN regionals/other sports networks. A package like this is available for about $10/month on top of your cable bill.

    Live, exclusive content is what makes these channels valuable, just like news channels during breaking news or weather events and high-profile entertainment, such as the Oscars, Grammys, WWDC keynote 🙂 and other shows people enjoy watching live, not pre-recorded.

  5. I’m hoping they have a base channel lineup with a small number of elective channels (such as sports, news channels, etc.) of your own choosing. Everyone has different personal tastes, so a little customization would help a lot in making this kind of service successful. Personally, I’d ditch the sports and news channels and pick something else, if such an option existed.

  6. In profoundly annoyed by the fact that my cable subscription is subsidizing other people’s heavy lineup of sports channels, which represent a good half of the actual total cost of content to the cable operators (and represent no more than 20% of the channel lineup). If any of the cable operators would actually offer the exact same lineup, but without a single sports channel at half the price, I’d be the first to sign up.

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