Apple will not announce its rumored new subscription television service at next week’s Worldwide Developer Conference after all.

After all the speculation that a new service was about to appear, a new Re/code report says that Apple’s failure to reach content licensing agreements with some of the major video rights holders makes a WWDC announcement impossible.

Apple has reportedly wanted to offer a subscription video service for a long time, possibly as far back as the Jobs era, but it has never been able to reach suitable terms with video rights holders like the TV networks and sports leagues.

CBS CEO Les Moonves said last week that his company would “probably” contribute content to the Apple offering, but a deal had clearly not been yet signed.

Video rights holders have for the past ten years been ratcheting up licensing fees for their main distributors, the cable companies and other pay TV operators.

Video distribution is beginning to migrate to online channels, but rights holders are likely just as aggressive about asking for high licensing fees from Internet companies like Apple as they have from cable companies. That is likely why Apple is having trouble reaching terms with them.

The Re/code article also mentions that there may be some disagreement about the technology used to deliver the video. Rights holders have long been very paranoid about content security issues.

Apple has said it would like to offer “skinny bundles” of video, which would include movies, TV, and live and local content.


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