Apple would love to let you watch TV from local broadcasters when it launches its long-rumored online TV service. But getting those rights is tough, which is why the company won’t announce the service at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next month, according to a Recode report.
A launch may even be delayed until 2016, according to the report, which cites multiple anonymous sources.
The problem with Apple’s desire to stream local broadcast TV is that the major broadcast networks don’t own all of their local affiliates. CBS for example owns and operates 16 stations, but also syndicates its programming to around 200 affiliates.
For a nationwide service, Apple would have to strike deals with all of them, and not just CBS itself. The same is true for other broadcasters, which means that Apple would have to either launch its service market-by-market — or do a whole lot of separate deals before getting it off the ground.