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Apple plans to launch TV streaming service by Christmas, content providers resist

According to a report from the New York Post, Apple is planning to launch a new television streaming service by Christmas despite roadblocks with potential content partners. The report cited sources “familiar with the talks” between Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddie Cue and content providers that have “largely balked” at Apple’s attempt to “exert control over all aspects” of negotiations:

“Apple’s negotiating stance can be summed up as “we decide the price, we decide what content,” according to one source familiar with the talks…They want everything for nothing,” said another media executive, echoing similar tense negotiations Apple has had in the past with magazine publishers and music companies.” 

The report said Apple wants content providers to offer their channels through apps accessible on Apple TV as well as other Apple devices. The report’s sources were unsure whether Apple planned to offer several of these apps in cable TV-style packages or as individual apps. Apple also apparently—although unsuccessfully— tried to convince cable companies to ditch their cable boxes for Apple devices in an attempt to “create the interface” and have the cable companies “manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline.” The New York Post explained:

More recently, Apple has tried to get cable operators to work with it to improve the accessibility and look of video services and in the process dump their clunky cable boxes in favor of sleek Apple devices… Instead, cable executives pretty much shut the door, preferring to keep Apple at a safe distance from the lucrative $150 billion pay-TV business.

The Post noted similar attempts by Apple to strike deals with content providers for a TV service in 2009, but the efforts failed due to Apple requesting shares of ad revenue opposed to a more traditional licensing deal.

The sources claimed Apple is focused on launching the streaming service before the introduction of the rumored Apple HDTV. They also backed up earlier reports from Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek that Apple may collaborate with Verizon and AT&T to gain access to programming. Apple is expected to launch an updated version of its Apple TV set-top box this month alongside the next-generation iPad.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.