Apple in Negotiations With Content Providers for Internet-Based Subscription Television Service

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is involved in high-level negotiations with television content providers, including ESPN, HBO, and Viacom, to provide programming through 'apps' instead of channels, reports Quartz -- a relatively new business publication with a number of former Wall Street Journal reporters on staff.
    Quartz claims that Apple does want to release a much-rumored television set -- not just a set-top box like the current Apple TV 'hobby' -- to "usurp the role of the cable box" and "control the entire experience of watching TV".

    The site also says cable companies have been seeking to prevent providers from signing deals with Apple, but Apple believes it does not need all content providers on board before releasing a TV set -- instead, it needs standout programming to distinguish the product and pioneer the concept of Internet-delivered video programming. The Apple TV boasted only a few content providers when it launched, but has since added a number of new content providers including ESPN, HBO, and Hulu.

    A deal to offer standalone ESPN or HBO packages -- or perhaps NFL Sunday Ticket -- could "represent a tipping point" after which Apple would feel comfortable bringing the product to market. ESPN in particular has been open to the idea of streaming its live channels online as part of a standalone subscription service, something that some vocal consumers have been clamoring for -- though it's unclear how many cord-cutters would actually pay for such a service.

    Previous reports have said that Apple wishes to 'erase the distinction' between live and on-demand television programming by allowing viewers to begin streaming a show minutes after it began airing live. Last month it was said that Apple was negotiating directly with cable companies and TV networks to allow customers to skip commercials, with Apple compensating for the lost ad revenue.

    In his biography, Steve Jobs said he had "cracked" the redesign of television to make it seamless and easy to use, and some analysts have been claiming for years that Apple is working on a television set.

    With multiple reports of Apple negotiating with both content providers like Sky News and ESPN and cable companies like Time Warner, the company appears to be examining multiple possible strategies for reinventing television.

    Article Link: Apple in Negotiations With Content Providers for Internet-Based Subscription Television Service
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
    Please give me a standalone ESPN app that I can watch live TV (without having a cable tv subscription) on my apple TV for $4.99 a month, or even $9.99 :D
  3. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    makes sense to circumvent the cable providers and offer individual channels/shows as apps. People are pretty cheap (look at all the cable cutters who always pop up in these threads wanting something for nothing), so remains to be seen how well that'll work.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2010
  5. macrumors 603

    Sep 19, 2003
    If this happens, I hope Apple brings back Front Row or adds some way to watch in iTunes. I don't own or want a TV but I would be interested in standalone HBO, provided the price is right.
  6. macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    The NFL would be the game changer. I just don't want to have to buy the whole TV to get it. If the AppleTV could do it, just fine with me.

    And I'm one of those cable cutters who want "something for nothing." I'm fine with ads and I'm fine with subscribing, just don't make me do both.
  7. macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    I don't have cable because I am not interested in expensive packages full of channels that I will never watch. I wish these negotiations would come to fruition so that I could choose and pay only for the channels I want. It might make me want to start watching TV again.
  8. macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    some people are dumb and will a la carte themselves to high prices

    time warner and comcast both offer cable + internet for $90. stand alone internet is $50. why would i spend close to $40 a month for a few channels when i could just buy the whole package and get the streaming with it as well

    unless ESPN and others will start selling the streaming separate and it won't be part of the cable TV price
  9. macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2012
    Ask the NSA
  10. macrumors 68000

    Dec 24, 2001
    Carson City, NV
    I'm a cable cutter and I will happily pay for quality programming. I don't watch television per se, but I do watch "Breaking Bad" via iTunes, and I would watch "Game of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire", etc. and pay a subscription. Netflix and Amazon Prime are popular, but don't have much in the way of high end programming that is current.
  11. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    in an alternative universe i am enjoying unlimited access to tv shows and movies from the itunes library for sth like 29$ a month
  12. macrumors 68040

    Jul 30, 2003
    And with the internet provided by the cable companies. :D
  13. macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    Comcast will just screw us all with internet cost.

    It's nice in theory, but it'll end up costing more in practice.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2010
    Yes! I really hope this happens soon. That's literally the one thing holding me back from cutting out my satellite completely. Freakin' ESPN.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2011
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Give me the ability to buy one channel at a time and I'll gladly pay a premium for it. I don't want to have to buy an entire package just for one channel. I want each channel to appear as a single app on my AppleTV interface and be able to be organized into folders at my convenience.

    This is my dream AppleTV television experience.

    Because maybe I only want a few channels. And what's wrong with me "a la carte"ing myself a huge bill, at least I made that choice as a consumer. The current alternative is, "you want just that one channel? Well, it's only available if you subscribe to this package which includes 12 other channels you are going to hate and never watch. Oh, and before you can get that package you have to have our premium service/these other basic channels".

    If I'm going to pay high prices or be ripped off, I want to make the choice to pay high prices and rip myself off.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Feb 17, 2009
    24/7 catholic!
  17. macrumors 6502


    Apr 10, 2006
    North Tonawanda, NY
    What if they could do something like Pandora but for TV? You find a certain type of show you like after that is over it finds another show like it or it shows you another episode of that show. If somethign comes up that you don't like you can skip and another comes up. The more you watch the more custom the playlist becomes.

    I'm not saying this would be the only option but a nice feature....there are times when you don't want to flip channels to find something to watch...this would give you some direction.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    ESPN charges cable companies $15-$20/month just for them.

    If you want A-la-carte, it's going to cost at least that much.

    It really is going to be that expensive.
  19. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

    Dec 6, 2012
    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    I agree. I cut the cable a year ago (except for the internet cable :)). I find myself buying/renting more through Apple TV than through Netflix due to quality of what is available. A subscription based service through Apple TV would likely make me finally give up on Netflix. Everyone agrees that most of the channels and programming on cable is essentially crap, so anything that allows me to pick and pay for what I actually want would be very interesting. The crappy buffet that the cables offer (and frankly Netflix on-line) is not my thing. Give me higher quality channels that I can pick.
  20. macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2010
    Nice insult when you clearly don't understand people's motivation here. Cable cutters (I am one) don't mind paying, they just don't want to pay upwards of $80-$100 per month for a ton of channels they have no interest in watching. HBO + ESPN + Comedy Central + 5 other random channels are not worth that much. There's also the issue of not wanting to support oligopolies made up of dinosaur companies who have no clue how or desire to innovate, and actually oppose it until they are forced to act (DVRs). The cable companies have effectively halted the process of innovation in the television industry. It's well past time for a serious disruption.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    NFL is going to go for $1/billion/year to whoever licenses them.

    You can figure out the subscriber content costs for that just from that number.
  22. macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Oh I would love this as I have free local tv and free Internet at my house.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008
    In future articles about Apple TV or an Apple television could we replace the TV in the picture with a TV made after 2005?
  24. macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    People aren't cheap because they don't want to pay exorbitant amounts for cable and still be subjected to ads, it's called not being a sucker. I don't even use cable, I use antenna TV, yet people who actually pay for some of the channels I get still have to watch the same commercials I do. It's egregious.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2011
    Prince Edward Island, Canada

    But what if ESPN was all you wanted? There are plenty of people that would be content with one or two channels. And even at $20/month for each channel, it's still cheaper than the alternative of having to subscribe to hundreds of other channels that are, essentially, useless to that person.

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