Greedy media companies stymie Apple’s plan to offer Apple TV Internet TV package

“Apple Inc. has suspended plans to offer a live Internet-based television service and is instead focusing on being a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers through its App Store, according to a person with knowledge of the matter,” Adam Satariano and Lucas Shaw report for Bloomberg.

“While Apple isn’t giving up entirely on releasing a live-TV service, its plan to sell a package of 14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month has run into resistance from media companies that want more money for their programming, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing a prospective product,” Satariano and Shaw report. “CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said at a conference earlier Tuesday that Apple had put its live TV plans ‘on hold.'”

“The struggle highlights the difficulty new entrants face in trying to persuade media companies to overhaul the conventional pay-TV bundle, which costs about $85 a month. To break the logjam, Apple would either have to charge more, or the media companies would have to accept less,” Satariano and Shaw report. “Moonves, speaking at the Business Insider Ignition conference, said he expects Apple to eventually offer a bundle of channels. ‘This will happen,’ Moonves 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: Apple TV’s plans to take HDMI 1 will have to wait.

So, eventually, when/if it ever happens, 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

CBS CEO Moonves says Apple puts live TV service ‘on hold’ – December 8, 2015
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. All though I have a different set of cable channels I would want. I think your list pretty much covers it. I could do without AdultSwim and Nick at Night, but instead would like to see BBC America and Comedy Central.

  2. Tim Cook lacks the finesse, intelligence and sophistication that Jobs possessed. Qualities that ultimately allowed him to acheive lucrative agreements for both Apple and its partners.

    No one wants to speak on this, but Cook is being perceived as an incompetent because he clearly can’t do anything right.

    Why would you make a deal with someone who brought the world the Apple Watch, Apple Music, a hobbled Macbook, or a watered down and useless Mac Pro.

    He has ZERO credibility. Enjoy your “pro-less” iPad Pro Mr. Cook.


    1. PBS is like the big four in that they are with local owned stations actually broadcasting, not just on cable or satellite. The same is true for CW. It is a different game. I always laugh at the hate I see with PBS I see here sometimes. In the 70’s PBS was the experiments for show that latter become cable networks. They proved what niche markets people were actually willing to spend money on.

      What that list doesn’t show is who owns what. ESPN, Disney, ABC, ABC Family and a lot more are all owned by Disney. I know people say I don’t want to pay for channels I don’t watch. If you just want ESPN and Adult Swim. Adult Swim is Cartoon Network ( I find it interesting that it listed separately). Disney sees you as a potential audience for their animated networks so they want you to get those too if you get ESPN. Network bundles are not for you, you are the product. Network bundles or for the advertisers. It’s like a BOGO for eyeballs. Cable companies have to pay for the hardware, and upkeep. So there will be a bottom price no matter what. The more people go internet only on their cable plans the higher those prices will go.

      The days after 9/11 networks that were affiliated with a news organization showed their news ( MTV and CC had CBS news, even NSMBC showed NBC news). Networks that did not ( Home Shopping ) had a disclaimer about being off the air because of the attacks. It was interesting to see how many disclaimers were identical except for the name of the network. I went through all the stations and found about 10 different things being shown. NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, CNN, PBS, BBC, and 2 or 3 disclaimers. It really hit home how few real media companies there are.

  3. The media companies will discover that you can’t stave off disruption from the combination of technical advancement and consumer demand, just as the cellular OEM’s and networks learned the lesson. The hard way.

  4. The thing is, with Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and others offering original internet content, you’re already talking a fairly significant amount of money before you add in whatever traditional content you want to watch. With so many providers the only way to really reduce the cost is to not have access to certain things. Even if you go a la carte and have a few “channels” you’re not going to want to watch everything on them so ultimately you’re still paying for stuff you don’t use. Buying individual shows gets expensive fast and spotify/apple music like streaming isn’t going to happen because the music industry is hardly ecstatic about how that’s going so TV/Film companies don’t seem likely to hop on board.

  5. It seems difficult to believe that the US actually watch Fox News but when I think of it, they actually are barely in the top twenty nations in the world when it comes to educational standards.

  6. I had cable stupid package with hundred of channels. Most sucked and the bill was too high anyway. I’m happy now with streaming Netflix, Hulu and some. Still, If Apple was able to secure this program I would have jumped on it. Specially if one can actually pick which 14 channels they want. That would be cool.

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