THE SERVICE WOULD HAVE ABOUT 25 CHANNELS AND WOULD BE AVAILABLE ON APPLE DEVICES SUCH AS THE APPLE TV
Apple Inc.,trying to strengthen its set-top service called Apple TV, is in talks with broadcasters ABC, CBS and Fox to provide Web-based television later this year, according to people familiar with the development. The service would include about 25 channels and may include cable channels from companies owned by the media conglomerates, said these informed sources. A deal with the networks would follow an agreement announced last month to put to HBO’s new stand-alone online service on Apple devices for $14.99 a month beginning April 12. The moves open the gate for other television providers to work around cable companies and deliver shows to users online. Such streaming services may prompt more consumers to cut the cord with cable companies, creating a new dynamic for the TV industry.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook last month also lowered the price of Apple TV, which allows users to transfer digital video and other files to their televisions, to $69 from $99 along with announcing the HBO deal. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “Given the high penetration of Apple mobile devices, there is a built-in market for Apple’s new streaming service. The price is considerably lower than typical pay-TV prices and, if focused on popular channels, could provide high value to consumers,” said Barbara Kraus, director of research at Parks Associates. “Should the Apple streaming service be successful, it also has the potential to increase sales of Apple TV, currently running third in the US behind Roku and Google Chromecast. However, because the service can be streamed from both iPhones and iPads, the new streaming service may not provide a substantial lift for Apple TV sales.”