Boldly going where Intel and Microsoft have failed, Apple has been hinting that it would get into the telly business for a while now. However the Wall Street Journal thinks it has found evidence that the iPhone maker is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks in the autumn.
Apple’s service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.
Apple has been talking to Walt Disney, CBS, and Twenty-First Century Fox, and other media companies to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.
Apple will charge $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September.
Apple is refusing to comment on the news until it has been hyped a little more and it can stage one of its Nuremburg rallies to promote the idea.
Several media companies are considering joining streaming-only services, or launching their own like HBO and CBS, to attract young people who do not subscribe to traditional pay TV packages. But programmers also fear the packages could become so popular that they undercut current, more profitable deals with cable companies.
Sony is rolling out competing services and it already has the inside measurement of the entertainment business.