Apple will launch its own over-the-top TV service this autumn, showcasing a small bundle of channels including ABC, Fox and ESPN as well as a large library of on-demand content, for around $30-40 a month.
Sources claim that Apple’s original plan was to launch a seriously packed TV service, in partnership with the universally loathed Comcast. However, negotiations with Comcast have reportedly ground to a halt, with sources close to the deal claiming that Apple felt like it was being strung along by the cable giant. As such, Apple’s TV venture is having to move ahead without NBCUniversal content on-board.
Apple recently announced that HBO’s new HBO NOW service will be available exclusively on its TV platform from next month – good news for Game of Thrones fans, provided you live in the right region and own Apple’s little black box. The company is also said to be in advanced negotiations with Disney and 21st Century Fox, which would see a number of other high-profile properties make their way to the fledgling service.
The existing Apple TV box – while cheap at around £60 – hasn’t seen a hardware refresh in a long while, and the company is expected to debut a new and improved unit later in the year, to conquer a serious slice of the TV market.
Rumours persisted for a time that Cupertino’s boffins were hard at work on an Apple television, but nothing has ever materialised and sources claim the company has no interest in developing hardware for what it considers to be a dated medium.
While Apple is sure to have no shortage of takers when (and if) it does decide to enter the OTT market, it won’t be all plain sailing. There are already a host of well-established names plying their trade in the arena, and many of their offerings have been buoyed by Google’s Android TV platform, which was unveiled last year.
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