Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is looking to add live feeds from local TV stations to its upcoming online pay-TV service, a feature that would differentiate it from existing OTT pay-TV services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, but also add tons of complexity in terms of rights deals.
According to Re/code, which spoke to the usual cadre of unnamed individuals close to the matter, Apple wants to add streaming access to local broadcast stations in cities around the U.S. This would be a key differentiator from services like Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) Sling TV, which offers no access to broadcast networks at all.
However, negotiating the myriad program rights deals with all those stations is a tedious process that would set back launch dates and drive up costs.
Apple hasn't formally announced the service, but leaks have steadily been flowing over the spring that the tech giant wants to launch the new product this fall.
As Re/code rightly points out, TV Everywhere negotiations on the local station level, such as those Disney/ABC embarked on for Watch ABC several years ago, can take several years to complete. Watch ABC, for example, still has restricted live streaming access in several key TV markets.
The good news, according to the publication, is that Apple's size and promotional power has TV executives excited about the service, and optimistic that it will eventually get off the ground.
The report also characterized the upcoming service as targeted to the broad array of Apple IP devices, which would include iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads, and not just Apple TV.
- read this Re/code story
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