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Report: Apple Wants TV Service By End of 2012

The New York Post reports that Apple is pushing to launch a streaming TV service by Christmas 2012 despite making little headway in negotiations with content providers. Sources told the paper that Apple is taking an unusual approach summarized as "we decide the price, we decide what content," essentially wanting "everything for nothing."

Apple’s point man, Eddie Cue, has been at it for months trying to nail down deals with content providers. These providers have "largely balked" at Apple's efforts to exert control over all aspects of the proposed video service, including prices. What Apple is reportedly aiming for is offering channels as apps which could be installed in devices like the Apple TV set-top box and the rumored iTV. What's unknown at this point is whether Apple plans to sell them as a bundle, or offer each channel individually.

The proposed streaming TV service will reportedly compliment what Apple already offers on iTunes which includes movies and TV episodes that consumers can rent or purchase. But the TV service could contradict some apps that already exist on the App Store provided by CBS, ABC and others which stream new and old content to iOS devices. Let’s also not forget Hulu Plus which does a very good job offering TV shows just after they've aired on their parent networks.

That said, there's good reason why some networks are hesitant about investing in an Apple-based streaming TV service given their commitment to other platforms. There's also fear that Apple may dominate this particular region of the entertainment industry. For example, the company tried to get cable operators to dump their current set-top boxes and DVRs for its own Apple-branded devices designed to offer an improved look and accessibility of video services.

"They wanted to create the interface, and they wanted to work with the cable guys to manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline," said one source familiar with the talks. But executives decided against the offering, choosing to keep Apple at a safe distance instead. Cable companies are also launching their own streaming TV services including Comcast, Time Warner and others.

Currently Apple is reportedly pursuing deals with telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon with hopes of landing at least one deal so that perhaps other will follow. But given that Verizon just announced a deal with Redbox to launch its own Netflix killer in the near future, it's highly doubtful the Big Red will sign on.

Along with the iPad 3, Apple is expected to unveil a new and improved Apple TV set-top box next week. It's possible we'll also see the actual iTV as well (as the invitation reads we have something you really have to see and touch), but that's highly unlikely. Apple is reportedly working on launching the streaming TV service first, and will then focus on the actual hardware.

  • amk-aka-Phantom
    But the TV service could contradict some apps that already exist on the App Store provided by CBS, ABC and others which stream new and old content to iOS devices. Let’s also not forget Hulu Plus which does a very good job offering TV shows just after they've aired on their parent networks.

    Knowing Apple, I have no doubt that these apps will be taken out mercilessly.
    Reply
  • Is Apple definately going with the iTV moniker then? I thought ITV (the UK TV channel) would have prior claim on the name...
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  • egidem
    "These providers have "largely balked" at Apple's efforts to exert control over all aspects of the proposed video service, including prices."

    -Pretty much sums up all that's wrong with Apple - their need to have control over everything. They'll go ahead and launch a video streaming service, call it revolutionary and magical (like Facetime lol), patent it then sue everyone else in the market. It's bound to happen, it's just a matter of when.
    Reply
  • Complement with an "e" not "i".
    Reply
  • alxianthelast
    Still very must interested to see which way this goes, but I'm still not interested in buying 'channels'.

    SHOWS as apps that can be delivered on demand to any platform not just iDevices and the TV sounds great.

    I just don't get if this will split video content from iTunes to a dedicated video service (which was able unit sale of music.. so unit sale of TV shows, movies, live performances etc?)
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  • ericburnby
    I want to see Apple do the same for TV what they did for music. Why should I buy an entire CD if I only like 1-2 songs? Likewise, why should I "purchase" a channel package with ABC when they only have a couple shows I like?

    I want the ability to watch whatever I choose with no more channels. The concept of having a "channel" is archaic.
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  • CKKwan
    I don't like Apple, but I hate those Cable / Satelite even more!

    This time I hope Apple can teach them a lesson!
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  • tomfreak
    ericburnbyI want to see Apple do the same for TV what they did for music. Why should I buy an entire CD if I only like 1-2 songs? Likewise, why should I "purchase" a channel package with ABC when they only have a couple shows I like?I want the ability to watch whatever I choose with no more channels. The concept of having a "channel" is archaic.I tot Video on demand/digital download/internet TV already have those thing? beside, no TV content is good unless they can by pass any gov censored/cutting.
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  • del35
    I want to see Apple do the same for TV what they did for music. Why should I buy an entire CD if I only like 1-2 songs?

    While I agree with this, I disagree with your claim that Apple was the first to do this. On another note, because Apple has shown itself to be a patent troll promoting locked-down standards and lack of cross-platform support, I would prefer not to see Apple's shiny claws grabbing for my wallet in my living room or computer.
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  • house70
    del35While I agree with this, I disagree with your claim that Apple was the first to do this. On another note, because Apple has shown itself to be a patent troll promoting locked-down standards and lack of cross-platform support, I would prefer not to see Apple's shiny claws grabbing for my wallet in my living room or computer.Just vote with your wallet and don't buy their overpriced products... Pretty sure there are already some services that could offer the equivalent of that.
    As I said before, the problem with delivering a-la-carte TV programming is that the distributor would have to negotiate for each channel individually, rather than buying in bulk. Add to that the in-predictability of knowing beforehand the amount they'll be able to sell (how many customers will actually subscribe for that particular channel, how many will keep it and how many will dump it after a few months) and you have the perfect recipe for a price hike.
    The perfect scenario would be a receiver box (cable/satellite/broadband ) that one can buy, connect to the content distributor (cable company/satellite via dish/broadband ISP) and select the channels would like to buy, click and purchase directly from the channel owner (CNN, ABC, etc.). That would be ideal. The distributor would make a small percentage from each transaction. There would be no fourth-party (like Apple) to pay.
    Reply