Reuters reports that Apple began talks earlier this year to stream films owned by EPIX, a cable premium television and internet streaming service backed by three major studios. Apple wants to stream the content on multiple devices, including a television, according to sources.
Apple, which now sells a $99 set-top box that hooks up to a television set and lets users stream online content from Netflix and the MLB channel, opened discussions with three-year-old EPIX, created by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, MGM and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures.
Sources told Reuters that any agreements would apply to Apple’s set top box, and also to any upcoming devices that would stream content. Apple is expected to unveil a television product later this year, or early next year.
Apple has been stymied for much of the past year in securing marquee Hollywood content. Talks with EPIX are in the preliminary stages and no agreement is considered near, the source said.
The talks could run into complications. EPIX has a 2010 agreement with Netflix, which pays $200 million a year for the rights to stream movies to it 23.4 million users. The deal gives Netflix exclusive streaming rights through September.
Apple has declined to comment on what it termed “speculation”. Netflix and EPIX spokesmen also had no comment.