Apple in Talks (Again) to Offer TV Channels: Report

Apple CEO Tim Cook Gay

Here we go again.

Re/code is reporting that Apple is in discussions with unspecified TV networks about offering a bundle of channels similar to Dish’s Sling TV service, which gives subscribers a limited number of networks delivered over broadband at a price lower than the traditional cable or satelllite package.

Details on what the Apple venture could be are scarce as conversations are said to be preliminary. But perhaps some skepticism is in order given the rather tortured history of Apple attempting all sorts of variations on TV service only to get nowhere.

Last March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast and Apple were in discussions about creating a broadband-delivered TV service but those talks evidently did not bear fruit. Numerous other arrangements have been in negotiations going back to 2009.

It’s unclear whether the new Apple idea would be available through the hardware giant’s existing Apple TV device or a brand new gizmo. There’s been endless speculation over the years that Apple would manufacture its own Internet-connected TV, but that product has yet to materialize.

Given the multiplicity of so-called “skinny” bundles, or virtual MSOS, coming to market–Sony and Verizon are also expected to launch similar services this year–it’s only natural that Apple would emerge as another possibility. But with the company’s hardware prowess and track record across a range of “i”-branded consumer devices, any entry into the TV world would be game-changing.

In various public comments since succeeding Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has given mixed messages about how big a priority for his company breaking into the TV business actually is.

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  1. citadel4ui says:

    Apple should just buy Time Warner CATV, or ComCast.
    It has enough money to do it with pocket change.
    This is ridiculous.

  2. Gordon Wagner says:

    Please, please, please… can I subscribe to my local stations, ESPN and NFL Network? The only thing I’m interested in watching is NFL football. That’s all I want to pay for — not the $120 a month I’m paying to get those stations in HD during the NFL season!

  3. THEPUPPETMAN says:

    Who watches regular television? Networks are out. The choice of the young viewers minds is the key. I’ve not had network traditional television in my home for the past 7 years. I do not miss it. My views go to netflix and youtube. APPLE IS WELL AWARE OF THE CHANGE.

  4. luxmax says:

    Of course they could just go to their cash drawer and buy Fox, Disney, and HBO outright just for starters…Probably a few more just to prove a point….

  5. Mike Hallow says:

    Ala cart tv is what is required. Why pay for channels you don’t watch. Also, make sure the local channels are included.

  6. Everyone praising Apple seems to forget one thing: people aren’t watching TV the way they used to, if at all. There’s too many other options for viewer’s eyes now than there ever has been. I’d see how Apple does with their watch before I’d pin my hopes on TV.

    • luxmax says:

      If anything, Apple could buy Fox, Disney, and HBO from money in their cash drawer and then charge any other channel who wants to join for the privilege. Want to bet they would? All they have to do is form a core that is in demand, and all the rest will pay to join. In the end, their cash would be more than paid back. I can already buy most episodes of anything I want from the Apple store without commercials.

  7. Al Kirby says:

    Tim, I know where you can pick up a ‘network’ reeeaaaal cheap to start this off….

    MSNBC can be had for a relative pittance.

  8. RogerMKE says:

    The problem Apple faces is that the TV industry has no doubt been closely watching what has happened to the music industry, and wants a better outcome.

  9. TV Watcher says:

    Apple knows what they are doing and they’re just playing it close to the vest. The next step in television will be revolutionary, not evolutionary – the concepts of cable bundling and broadcast delivery are in play and the industry will soon undergo a substantial transformation.

  10. Tim Cook is an innovator and we appreciate his attention to details. The next phase of Apple Tv will be amazing. http://Tvonthego.com/itunes is available on the app store and its only a taste of the power of Apple Tv- Once Apple gets their version its a new world.

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