Apple is reportedly working on an internet TV service similar to Dish Network’s recently announced ‘Sling TV’, a $20 per month TV platform with 20 cable channels available, including ESPN.
Several executives have been showing demos of the service to network programmers, looking to grab as many high-profile channels on the service before launch late this year or early next year.
Even though Apple is showing off demos, the internet TV service is apparently still in the early stages and executives are not speaking on licensing, launch date or pricing per month with networks.
As expected, The Walt Disney Company is already bought by the new service, and CEO Bob Iger will deliver ESPN, ABC and Disney channels for the internet TV service.
Other companies might be a bit less compliant, although Apple has been a company to turn heads. iTunes is the most obvious example, winning over the music industry, but Apple more recently won over banks with Apple Pay.
In Steve Jobs’ biography, he discussed how TV was the next front to enter, but did not discuss exactly what he had in mind. Four years later, Apple might finally make a move on television, although it will most likely not include a HDTV.
The $178 billion in the bank could be used by Apple to acquire any sort of TV talent or start-up they want, and could potentially offer the service at an operating loss at the start to draw in early customers.
It does not seem like Apple will compete with Netflix, instead offering live TV and on-demand cable services through the internet. This service will most likely be available first on iOS, Apple TV and the web.