After years of murky rumors, we’ve finally seen the most credible report yet pointing to Apple getting into the TV business in a major way. Late on Monday, The Wall Street Journal published a report relaying that Apple has plans to launch a subscription-based streaming TV service this fall.
According to the report, Apple’s TV offering will cost users approximately $30 to $40 a month and will offer a somewhat lightweight selection of 25 channels. Some of the cable channels reportedly on-board already include big names such as ESPN and FX. Naturally, the service will reportedly include content from major networks like ABC, CBS and Fox.
But notably absent from the mix is NBCUniversal. This is supposedly the result of negotiation difficulties Apple previously experienced with Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company.
Apple and Comcast were in talks as recently as last year about working together on a streaming television platform that would combine Apple’s expertise in user interfaces with Comcast’s strength in broadband delivery. Apple came to believe that Comcast was stringing it along while the cable giant focused on its own X1 Web-enabled set-top box, the people said.
Without NBCUniversal, it’s hard to see an Apple TV service becoming a true mainstream success. Not only would users be missing out on staple NBC programming, NBCUniversal also happens to own a number of popular cable channels such as USA, Bravo, and E! Entertainment.
As for when the service will see the light of day, The Journal relays that Apple may announce the service this June with plans to launch it come September. Once live, streaming content will be accessible via iOS devices and through Apple’s now more affordable Apple TV.
Without question, Apple has taken a much more involved interest in the TV space over the past few years. In the last 12 months alone, Apple has added a plethora of new Apple TV channels. More recently, Apple announced that HBO Now will be an Apple TV exclusive, allowing TV goers to view HBO programming for just $14.99 a month with no pay TV subscription required.