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Here’s Why Apple’s Rumored TV Service Hasn’t Launched Yet

3 minute read

Apple’s demands and negotiating tactics have prevented the company from striking deals with media giants for its rumored streaming TV service, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The report cites one such example when describing Apple’s talks with Disney, which owns channels like ABC and ESPN. Apple reportedly wanted to keep the per viewer fee it would pay Disney each month to license its channels at a flat rate, despite the fact that TV channels usually rely on annual rate increases to boost their profits.

Apple has been considering a streaming TV service since as far back as 2009, the report says. Although it offered media companies higher fees than pay-TV providers back then, the talks never made progress because Apple only wanted to include certain channels in its service, according to the Journal.

Discussions with Comcast regarding a joint TV service also fizzled since Apple was reluctant to share key details about the project, such as what the user interface would look like, the report says. An Apple official reportedly told Comcast the software would be “better than anything you’ve ever had.”

Talks with Time Warner reportedly faded after Apple required access to full seasons of hit shows on demand and rights to a cloud-based recorder that would automatically record programs and allow viewers to skip ads in newly aired shows. When Apple tried a new tactic by pitching a skinny bundle deal that would include 25 popular channels to networks like Disney and Fox, there was some trouble over deciding which channels to include.

The Journal‘s report comes after Recode reported last year that Apple’s streaming TV plans have stalled over negotiations with TV executives.

Meanwhile, Apple has been vocal about its interest in the television space, proclaiming that the future of TV is apps. Its new version of the Apple TV set top box, which launched last fall, includes its own App Store that houses a selection of games and apps made specifically for the TV. The Silicon Valley titan also recently purchased Carpool Karaoke, the popular segment of The Late Night Show With James Cordon, and has announced plans to make its own original TV series.

The recent focus on TV also comes as Apple is rumored to be entering other new markets, such as the automotive space. Bets like this, if successful, could be crucial in showing Wall Street that Apple can generate success in other product segments beyond the iPhone, revenue from which fell by 23% in Apple’s recently ended fiscal quarter.

Apple declined to comment on the report.

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