Report: Apple's pay-TV plan comes into focus, thumbs nose at Comcast

Is it real this time?

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is getting close to launching its long-anticipated pay-TV service, with a cable-resembling streaming bundle from the tech giant possibly launching later this year at a $30-$40 monthly price point.

According to WSJ, Apple is in talks with CBS Corp., the Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox about programming partnerships that would include major broadcast networks CBS, ABC and Fox, as well as bigger cable channels, like ESPN.

Missing would be smaller channels, as well as the NBCUniversal constellation of networks--everything from NBC to Bravo to USA Network. The WSJ described Apple as angry about being "strung along" by NBCUniversal parent company Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Apple and Comcast were in talks last year to launch a streaming service, but Comcast ultimately chose to focus on developing its X1 platform.

Apple, the WSJ says, is aiming to announce the new service in June and launch it in September. It would be accessible via Apple TV streaming devices, as well as iPhones, iPads and other iOS mobile gizmos.

Apple has talked boldly about re-creating the pay-TV model for several years, but has been unable to entice programmers to match its technological ambitions.

The programming community is, of course, suddenly much more open to OTT business models. But Apple now finds itself launching into a competitive environment, with Dish Network  (NASDAQ: DISH) and Sony Corp. having already arrived in the OTT market.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story
- read this CNET story

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