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The real reason Apple’s TV streaming service might not include NBC

Apple Comcast TV

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to roll out its own TV streaming service later this fall in a bold attempt to take control of the living room.

The rumored TV service will reportedly offer users about 25 channels and will cost about $30-$40 a month. Some of the big name channels reported to be on board include ESPN, FX, along with content from 3 of the 4 major broadcast networks, with NBC being the lone holdout.

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According to initial reports, the reason for NBCUniversal’s exclusion is that previous negotiations between Apple and NBCUniversal’s parent company, Comcast, left a bad taste in Apple’s mouth.

Now comes word, via Comcast itself, that Apple hasn’t even approached the company about developing a TV partnership.

Re/Code is reporting that Comcast late last week sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in regards to its efforts to acquire Time Warner Cable. Within the letter, Comcast addressed the rumor that it was leveraging its power to keep NBCUniversal’s content off of Apple’s upcoming TV service.

That’s a bit right but mostly wrong, Comcast attorney Francis Buono wrote to the FCC: “Not only has NBCUniversal not ‘withheld’ programming from Apple’s new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request.”

Of course, this isn’t to say that Apple won’t be approaching Comcast in the near future. Indeed, if Apple is, in fact, planning to roll out a TV service designed to get consumers to do away with their cable packages, having NBC content in the mix is arguably a must.

Besides, as we reported just a few weeks back, the terms of Comcast’s 2011 NBCUniversal acquisition dictate that any NBCUniversal content made available to cable providers must be made available to online video distributors at an economically comparable rate. In other words, Comcast will not legally be allowed to hold their content hostage and demand exorbitant licensing rates.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.