Apple in talks with TV programmers to launch web-based TV service

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 5 Feb 2015

Apple iTV mockup

Ever since Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had finally cracked integrated Television sets, there has been speculations that Apple will launch its own branded television.

There have been rumors and speculations that Apple will launch an iOS based television set with Siri for extensive voice control rather than the conventional remote control. While Apple may have big TV ambitions, recent reports suggest that the company is having a tough time getting media companies to play along.

Apple seems to have changed its strategy as Re/code now reports that Apple is in talks with TV programmers to launch its own “over the top” pay TV web-based service.

The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming — but not the entire TV lineup that pay TV providers generally offer — and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web. That means Apple wouldn’t be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.

It would be similar to Sling TV, Dish’s $20 web TV service, and Sony’s upcoming web TV service, who have reached agreements with programmers to deliver both live TV as well as video-on-demand, just like cable TV providers offer, but over the web. So Apple shouldn’t have a hard time striking deals with TV programmers for its own web TV service. The report claims that Apple has already shown programmers demos of the proposed service, but the talks are currently in early stages, so details like pricing and timing haven’t been finalized yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that television is an area the company continues to look at. At D11 conference in August he said that the company had a grand vision for Television.

Would you subscribe for Apple’s web-based TV service?

[via Re/code]