A new report from The Street claims Disney and Apple can’t come to an agreement on how many Disney-owned channels will be included in Apple’s much-rumored streaming television package.
Disney is reportedly pushing for Apple to include most of its channels, while Apple is looking to carry a smaller number, in order to keep the price of the bundle down. Disney owned channels include the popular ESPN and Disney Channel offerings, as well as several other channels such as Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, and others. Disney also owns the ABC television network, which offers the ABC Family channel.
Disney likely would insist that Apple offer all of its channels to as many subscribers as possible. Many cable operators have “most favored nation” clauses in their contracts with Disney that could require ESPN to be carried as widely as possible. If Apple enabled its subscribers to pick and choose which channels to take, other cable channels could use that clause to cut back on lesser watched Disney channels.
The House of the Mouse and Apple have worked together on a number of projects over the years. Disney CEO Bob Iger sits on the Apple board of directors, and was a longtime friend of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The Street suggests that despite the disagreement over the number of channels that should be included in Apple’s TV service, Disney is likely to remain an Apple content partner.
Apple is expected to announce its streaming television service at June’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The service is rumored to include around 25 channels, and will carry a monthly fee of between $30 and $40.
Apple is also rumored to be preparing a new Apple TV set-top streaming box alongside the new streaming television service. The new box is expected to boast an A8 processor, an increase in internal storage, Siri capabilities, and a full App Store.