Apple won’t launch its pay TV service this year: Plans to take on cable and satellite TV operators with an Internet-based TV subscription service have been delayed until some time in 2016, according to a Bloomberg report, which states that the company hasn’t been able to strike deals for the necessary content rights for the service.
At one point Apple planned to announce the service at a press event in San Francisco next month and launch it in time for the fall TV season. However, negotiations with rights holders are dragging on, with the crux apparently being the pricetag for broadcast networks like CBS and Fox. Apple is aiming for a bundle of channels priced around $40, but has had a hard time making that work with the fees broadcast and cable networks are seeking.
Earlier reports indicated that Apple was aiming to introduce the service at its WWDC developer conference in June, but then delayed the launch because of the same rights issues. One key problem for Apple is that the company is apparently looking to launch with local broadcast content from networks like ABC, CBS and Fox. That involves getting rights from thousands of affiliate stations, which can take a long time, and potentially contribute to higher licensing costs.
Competitor Sling TV, owned and operated by Dish, launched in January without any broadcast content and just a small — but growing — bundle of cable channels.
However, the company still plans to introduce a revamped version of its Apple TV streaming box at the press event next month. The new device is expected to come with beefed-up hardware, as well as potentially a full-blown software development kit (SDK) and app store, which would allow many more third-party developers to build their own apps for Apple TV.
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Variety.