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Apple’s oft-rumored television ambitions are expected to come to fruition this fall. They won’t arrive as a physical television set but rather, an online television service that’ll carry about 25 channels according to people familiar with the matter as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The service, which would be available (perhaps exclusively) on Apple devices will be anchored by networks including ABC, CBS and Fox (channels that you can already get for free via an antenna).
Apple was said to be in talks with Comcast last year about working together on a streaming television platform. Sources say delays in the talks led Apple to believe that Comcast was simply leading them astray as they worked to perfect their own web-enabled set-top box.
This has led to a strained relationship between the two which could ultimately affect the channel lineup that Apple is able to secure for its service.
Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal which owns several popular channels including Bravo and USA. At least one media executive told the publication that it may be hard to Apple to launch a successful service without NBCUniversal onboard.
The Journal further notes that Apple has been hosting talks with Walt Disney Co., CBS Corp. and 21st Century Fox. By courting so many different companies, Apple wants to cherry-pick only the most popular channels for its service. Some in the industry believe Apple will price the service in the $30 to $40 per month range. The lower end of that range could be attractive depending on the channel lineup but anything much higher and you run the risk of pricing yourself in line with traditional cable and satellite services.
Apple is expected to announce the service in June before launching in September.