Mobile

Apple’s tough talk backfires in negotiations for new streaming TV service

Apple has big plans to launch a streaming TV service by Christmas, and of course the rumor mill is already running wild on when it will sell an actual TV. But first Apple will need to clear a hurdle: Getting the rights to shows for its new TV service. So far, its negotiations with the big media companies are not going well, because Apple has been taking its usual approach: “our way or nothing at all.”

According to a report from the NY Post, Apple is telling media executives that it wants to control all elements of the new streaming service, including how the content will be priced, much as it does for albums and tracks in the iTunes store.

The TV networks have their back against the wall in a certain sense. It’s clear that TV watchers are doing more and more viewing online. Even when the networks choose withhold their best shows from services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime, technology is finding a way to get around that.

Aereo, for example, a new service from IAC, will begin streaming all the network channels and some cable channels March 14 in New York City. It does this by using an array of tiny antennas, each the size of dime, which belong to individual customers. Not only can Aereo customers watch TV anywhere they want, since it also acts as a DVR, they can watch anytime they want. The networks, of course, have responded how they know best, with a lawsuit.

Apple will be holding an event March 7 which many people believe will include a new version of its Apple TV. The hope, according to the NY Post, is to bundle TV channels like apps, which can be sold through Apple’s store and streamed to users phones, tablets, computers and televisions. The pay TV industry, meanwhile, is looking at iTunes and the fall of the record industry, and running the other way.


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