CBS CEO Moonves says Apple puts live TV service ‘on hold’

“Apple Inc. has pressed pause on its planned live TV service, CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said Tuesday,” Christopher Palmeri and Gerry Smith report for Bloomberg. “‘They’ve had conversations on it and I think they pressed the hold button,’ Moonves said at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York. ‘They were looking for a service.'”

“The service, which would be delivered via the Internet, was viewed as an alternative to a traditional cable or satellite package,” Palmeri and Smith report. “Cupertino, California-based Apple has been in discussions with broadcasters for months.”

“Moonves, who leads the most-watched U.S. TV network, expects skinny bundles to gain in popularity and detailed the type of service Apple envisions,” Palmeri and Smith report. “‘This will happen,’ he said. ‘It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30 to $35, $40 maybe. People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s 2015. This should’ve happened already. At this rate, America will back on the moon before Eddy Cue gets the contracts inked. So, before we’re dead, m’kay?

As we wrote just last month:

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

Fox’s James Murdoch, CBS’s Les Moonves hint at looming Apple Web TV service launch – November 5, 2015
CBS CEO Moonves says Apple TV content deal is likely – October 14, 2015
CBS CEO: We’re still in negotiations with Apple over new Internet TV service – May 27, 2015


  1. Why did they introduce the new Apple TV without a streaming service? Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? Total lack of coordinated action.Sad.

    1. You can certainly use the AppleTV without an Apple streaming service. Plenty of content apps exist on the Apple TV as well as iTunes content. And rumors are Amazon is developing an app too. All Apple needs is to provide robust universal search. They don’t need some skinny cable package to be successful.

  2. Sorry all, content rights are the toughest knot in the media business. Remember when Apple was blamed for DRMing iTunes content? It wasn’t Apple, it was the rights holders and that’s who is making it impossible for Apple to offer the fabled live streaming service.

  3. buy CBS, fire Moonves, this guy can’t keep a secret. Ok, apple should get into developing content for internet consumption. Tv shows, movies will waste a tremendous amount of money.

    1. Though we have gotten use to commercials on cable channels they really should not be there.Why? We are already paying for this content. Now, cable would have you believe that you are paying for the service of supplying the channel or network, don’t believe that, because they, cable, charge too much for the flow of electrons.
      Over the air channels, yes, there should commercials.

  4. Watch how the TV networks will start working on exactly those services that they are not willing to negociate with Apple.
    They will actually steal the idea and try to come out with such services first.

  5. Funny I bought the new Apple TV weeks ago and have yet to install it. Doesn’t seem to be a great sense of urgency to do so. (Also I’m up to my eyeballs in screeners.) I’ll slowly belly up to the new Apple TV bar over the holidays. Like everyone I’m waiting for the TV experience to be truly transformative.

  6. Once CBS catches up with the 21st century, I hope they’re offering more than just live CBS programming anyone can pull off the airwaves. $30 for what exactly? And what are they waiting for? The usual marketing interference?

  7. Here’s how i see it:
    $30 = 10 channels you get to pick
    $40 = 20 channels you get to pick
    $50 = 50 channels you get to pick.

    I am sure that is off on numbers, but something to that effect. Oh, and you should be able to rotate to a different channel on a monthly basis. So that way one month you pay for AMC to see a series you like, and when that series goes down you move to another channel like FX.

  8. Apple’s new objective with ATV is to go for huge (dominating) SCALE in the US market (i.e., sell a few hundred million units in a very few years). In so doing, Apple will have leverage with the various networks, content creators, app developers, and local TV stations to offer a compelling audience that can’t be ignored. Apple’s in this for the long run of course, and can afford to bide its time until it gets there. The same is true for Apple Music and Apple Watch. It’s all about the eco systems they are creating. Notice how Siri straddles numerous platforms now and is growing.

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