Here comes á la carte programming – without Apple

“Apple has reportedly been pushing for years on cable companies and networks to provide their programming via Apple TV in an attempt to lour cord cutters to a more attractive selection and pricing model,” Mark Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “But Apple’s negotiations have fallen flat time and time again, as Apple has had little to no leverage to wield at content owners, but the market is finally starting to change.”

“Cable and Dish providers are losing roughly 70,000 subscribers per month,” Reschke writes. “The cord cutting trend will continue and it appears content providers like Disney [ESPN] are taking notice, with or without Apple.”

“ESPN has been experimenting with pay-to-play content without needing a cable subscription,” Reschke writes. “Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV are all likely to be receiving the EPSN options, but why is Apple not out in front of this, locking up exclusive deals? … If Apple wants to dominate the living room, exclusive deals with sports content creators like NBA and NFL, or exclusive deals with the providers of this content need to be made. If not, Apple will just be another also ran in the living room streaming industry.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in May 2014:

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels [with reticent content providers]. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.


  1. Paying content companies any money is a waste, make sure all Apple devices can playback, record, and store all video, audio, and picture formats the get out of the way.

  2. Paying content companies any money is a waste, make sure all Apple devices can playback, record, and store all video, audio, and picture formats then get out of the way.

  3. Now is a good time to renegotiate your internet, and cable fees.

    The packaging has gotten better on DTV. For example going from basic package to the next tier up the only value channel is the Science Channel. That doesn’t get any better for the next tier after that. (just an opinion). That makes the Science Channel cost about $20 to $30, mixed in with some junk, although I am omitting FXX, and WGN, which are okay, but noting I watch.

    At the base tier you already have anything worth watching, unless you have a specific sports channel or group, or you want a premium package. As it is. There is still a lot of crap on TV,

    Since I have AT&T Unlimited w/DirecTV, It will take a dirt cheap a la carte, solution to get me to switch. I just don’t see an option to get costs any lower at the moment, other than shutting it all off.

    Streaming packages are good, if they offered back episodes, and fast forwarding. This effectively makes the DVR unnecessary.

  4. Who has time to watch “programming” when there is Pokemon to catch?

    This Pokeman thing is just a little taste of what people will be doing for leisure. I envision groups of VR wearing humans running down virtual exploding streets, while trying to dodge fire spewing dragons.

    These games/episodes/stories will become part of everyday life. For example, runners might play the “Chariots of Fire” app and compete with virtual runners from the 1920’s. There could be virtual coaches and virtual AI characters, etc. Or how about dinner with The Duke, Gandhi, and Marilyn? The possibilities are endless.

  5. There is currently a rumour that Apple is considering bidding to buy the Formula One organisation from Bernie Ecclestone. That is to OWN the entire event, not simply the rights to show it.

    This could be a huge acquisition for Apple. It’s likely to be expensive ( 6 billion has been mentioned ), but it makes a huge amount of money. The big thing for Apple is that they could offer live streaming via Apple TV all around the world. That could create a huge market for Apple TV outside of America, where to be honest, Apple TV doesn’t really have much compelling content.

    Many Americans will be largely unaware of Formula One racing, but elsewhere in the world, it’s a massive event and the global television audiences are enormous.

    Formula One uses cutting edge technology and the drivers are celebrated like rock stars, so it would be a good match for Apple and also a shrewd investment – which could be paid for with some of Apple’s offshore money.

    1. The only thing less exiting than watching horses run in a circle is watching cars drive in a circle.

      Seen F1 in the flesh when I lived in Europe and there are far better things to do.

      A far better buy would be Time Warner. Strip out HBO, Cinemax, CNN, Turner Classic Movies, TNT and TBS and spin off the movie studio. That gives you news, general entertainment, movies new & old and premium content. Put them on Apple TV and go after ESPN for marquee sporting events to air on your new channels.

      Apple has the cash to break ESPNs balls.

      Fuck the rest.

      Way more value.

      1. I’m not an F1 fan myself and never watch it on TV, but I know that it attracts vast audiences and I see it as a promising business opportunity for Apple. It’s also a sport with a massive global audience, which is an aspect that should appeal to Apple.

        An American news channel would be of negligible interest to Europeans, classic movies are readily available in multiple ways, what one country might call popular entertainment is likely to be regarded as puerile elsewhere and drama faces language problems too. It’s only things like music and a very small number of sports which will appeal to a global audience. Adding a foreign commentary to a feed is trivially easy and can be done in real time and cheaply, while dubbing a drama into another language is a much more complex and expensive operation.

        Any sport can be dismissed by ridiculing it. Who would want to watch men in stripy pyjamas hitting a ball with a stick and then running around a square, or who would want to watch 28 different ways of sliding ( Winter Olympics ) ?

        While many sports have massive fan bases, few always have such a wide international appeal as F1 for every event. Furthermore F1 is a particularly lucrative business that is currently likely to be available to the right offer.

  6. Last month with no change in service my Comcast bill hit $200 a month.

    Dropped everything but internet and added Sling TV and an HDTV antenna.
    Cut that bill in half and did not lose a single channel I actually watch.

    The Sling app on Apple TV could use some improvement and I want a package I define, but it is good enough for now. Comcast’s greed and the ever escalating taxation on Cable TV is bullshit.

    And I am tired of subsidizing Rupert Murdoch, Comcast, Time Warner, Disney and Viacom.

  7. Apple may negotiate a package they can offer under an Apple label, but I doubt there will be much exclusive content, at least not from major content providers, like HBO or ESPN or MLB. Why would they cut off other opportunities to gain viewers?

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