With regards to cost, Apple's subscription will reportedly cost around $30-40 (probably US only service to start), which is a tad pricier than other American TV providers such as Sling TV, which offers a $20 base package. But what does this price tag get you? It's claimed that the service will offer around 25 different channels, with the likes of ABC, CBS and Fox being lined up as partners.
There is one major US provider missing from that list - NBCUniversal. According to the WSJ, it's because Apple and NBCUniversal's parent company Comcast have had a falling out. "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," reports the Journal. "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."
This goes against a report published by Re/Code which claims that the reason that Comcast isn't a part of the rumoured Apple TV streaming service is simply because Apple hasn't approached the company. Comcast apparently acknowledged its non talks with Apple in a letter sent to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) as part of an effort to acquire its biggest competitor, Time Warner Cable.
The note was in reply to a note written by "Stop Mega Comcast", a coalition opposing the deal. The coalition claimed that Comcast may be withholding NBCUniversal content in an effort to "thwart new video competitors". Comcast responded by saying "Not only has NBCUniversal not 'withheld' programming from Apple's new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request."
It's interesting that denial of a working relationship becomes news, but that's what happens when Apple is involved. It's also worth noting that the likes of Fox, ABC, CBS and others haven't confirmed talks with Apple, and that the report is can be viewed as more of an acknowledgement that something may be happening, rather than concrete evidence.
But the question is - what's in it for the providers? The New York Post has claimed that Apple has offered to share data with providers to get them on board with its internet-enabled TV streaming service. It's been claimed that Apple will provide companies with details regarding who its viewers are, what they watch as well as when they watch it. This could help providers with advertising, as Apple is taking a step back and letting providers decide whether ads will be included.
The tactic is an interesting one, as Apple is offering something that traditional cable companies, as well as the likes of Netflix and Amazon prime won't offer to providers. Why is this? It could be to try and catch up to Sling TV, which offers a similar service without a cable TV subscription.
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