The Apple TV conundrum

“Before the Apple TV was launched in September, some expected that Apple would be announcing a new subscription TV plan,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “It was supposed to include the four major broadcast networks — CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox (no mention of the CW) — a smattering of cable TV channels, possibly some premium networks such as HBO and Showtime, and even your local stations.”

“All this slimmed down joy would come at a price ranging from $20 to $40. But it never showed up during the rollout of the Apple TV amid predictions it was put off until 2016,” Steinberg writes. “Indeed, some felt the new set-top box was a disappointment, since it lacked 4K (Ultra HD) support and had new features that weren’t daringly different from such major competitors as the latest Amazon Fire TV and the Roku 4.”

“Apple is facing serious headwinds in dealing with the content providers. This is no doubt true with Comcast, which owns all the NBC networks that include, in addition to the broadcast network, such popular watering holes as USA and Syfy. There’s a bunch, and I won’t bother to list them all,” Steinberg writes. “Suffice it to say that Comcast might not appreciate accepting a lower carriage fee, or even unbundling, so not all channels are included. Add to that other networks taking similar approaches, and there may have been a huge resistance to Apple’s scheme.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, cobbling together whatever lineup of individually paid services and paying individually for each of them is a messy PITA. We’d like to see Apple offer a way to unify all of these apps (channels/networks) into one simple bill, at least.

Apple, TV networks clash over size and makeup of Internet TV bundle – December 9, 2015
Apple debuts new Apple TV ad, ‘The Future of Television’ – December 9, 2015
Greedy media companies stymie Apple’s plan to offer Apple TV Internet TV package – December 9, 2015
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. We’re talking about a CEO who has the innovative reputation of a circus clown, the personality of an automaton, and who’s about as engaging as a Mexican soap opera!

    And we’re surprised he couldn’t sell a deal to media execs… they would probably prefer to watch paint dry than to listen to this guy for even 5-seconds.

    Until Apple gets new leadership don’t expect the entertainment execs to take them seriously.


  2. I’m going with MSM hubris and outright fear of Apple and their marketing power.

    The MSM is simply worried that the BS cable packages will be destroyed by the alacarte model. Similar to the iTunes model….

    1. @Bill W

      Dream on, and lay off the sauce!

      Marketing power?

      Like the Apple Watch and Apple Music marketing magic, LMFAO!

      How about the neutered Macbook, the gimped ATV 4, the crippled trashcan Mac Pro, and the immasculated iPad Pro marketing campaigns?

      See a pattern here with this particular CEO?

      1. The numbers speak for themselves and for most people who relate to accurate facts.

        you probably deny global warming , climate change and the fact that the world is round too, ignoramus.

  3. It might almost be easier to just buy Disney, get all their stuff, Marvel, ABC, and so on then make that available on Apple TV they’d then have their own in house library of content and ongoing production. Would cost them a lot and it may not be worth it, but sorting out TV is like herding cats.

    I think Netflix’s plan of increasingly relying on its own content rather than licensing a subsection of stuff from film and tv companies makes sense. Currently I tend to subscribe to Netflix for a few months, binge on everything, then cancel for a few months and so on. If there was an original programming option at a lower price I’d be very interest. Once you factor in all the other avenues of good new stuff you could watch both online and off, whichever way you slice it it’s going to add up.

  4. What is it with The Tim Cook bashing anyway? Cook is a smart guy and doing fine as Apple CEO. For the most part, the company is performing like a well-oiled machine and setting sales records and increasing profits each quarter but also experiencing unprecedented growing pains as it expands and greatly diversifies its business. He and Ive also are trying to train new generations of workers In the Apple aesthetic — but also trying to overcome past criticisms not to always choose form over function. Look no further than the latest AirPort Extreme design, which is a aesthetic compromise to improve WiFi MIMO performance. And occasional contract issues and supply-line hiccups are to be expected.

    👍🏻 Thumbs up for Cook and crew.

  5. How is it a disappointment? Maybe if you’re one of those people that haven’t realized Apple has the highest quality product ecosystem in existence. But I’m always happy when Apple has a new installment in their product line, and upgrades like this are fully welcome. Sure, I’ll need to buy a new model when they launch a 4K model, but until then this is great!

      1. I am certain that on a big screen with optimized color, contrast and brightness that 4K looks great. That’s because I go to the movies! Our theatre shows 4K films.

        But in the home, are you actually going to see more than you would on a high quality 1080p display?

        Meanwhile, I remember when certain people were saying 720p was the be all and end all and I told them ‘NO!’. It was for the same reason I don’t see the point in 4K. The human eye can see more dots per inch, aka resolution, than 720p can show on a standard TV or computer screen. 1080p was better and I told folks so. But with 4K, you’ve got more resolution than you can actually see on any standard home TV. It’s overkill. If it gets cheap enough, who cares? But for now, 4K is expensive overkill. I see no reason for Apple to bother with it, especially streaming media over the Internet, which the stupid ISPs are fighting to keep low bandwidth relative to a lot of the rest of the world, sad to say. So what happens with 4K streaming in the US is an Internet traffic jam of unnecessary data bandwidth getting in everyone else’s way.

        Ideally, we all go down to our local ISP and kick their executive’s asses up and down Main Street until they figure out that the customer is king, dammit. Then after we lobotomize them, they’ll plant better cable and make US Internet even faster than South Korea’s.

        But I ramble. Typical when I’m nodding off to 💤💤

      2. Seriously obsessing over this subject: The ideal viewing distance for any framed image is the diagonal length of the frame. That’s the distance I use when I consider when comparing pixel density or resolution. Just so you know.

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