A report from the New York Post today says Apple is still aiming for a fall debut for its streaming television service, and has found a way to speed things up by convincing the television networks to negotiate with their affiliates for streaming right to their local broadcasts.
Apple’s discussions with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox initially foundered over the tech giant’s desire to offer on the soon-to-launch service local live TV feeds streamed on any Apple device, sources said.
But networks don’t control affiliate feeds. So Apple CEO Tim Cook’s team asked the networks to obtain those rights — instead of having Apple chase those rights around the country itself.
The Post says the networks are close to gaining the rights to negotiate with Apple on behalf of their local affiliates. The affiliate groups are being told that if they opt-in and offer their local feeds, they’ll stand to share in the revenue from Apple’s streaming television service.
“Apple has a lot of reach and this is a good opportunity,” said one network source.
Last week, Tim Cook and Apple SVP Eddy Cue, were spotted at Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley Conference last week, chatting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Bob Kraft. The sightings have led to speculation that Apple may be seeking a deal to carry content from the U.S.-based pro football league.
Apple’s new streaming television service is expected to cost $30 to $40 per month, and will likely debut alongside a revamped Apple TV set top box in the fall.