Apple has been trying to get networks in line for a planned “cable-killer TV app” that would run on any Apple platform for some time now. According to an article in yesterday’s New York Post, it appears that things are moving along nicely, with “talks with all four networks rapidly gaining momentum.”
One of the major stumbling blocks had been with local affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in the USA. Apple wants to show local live TV feeds on the service, but networks don’t control the feeds from their local affiliates. Apparently, Apple has been able to ask the networks to obtain local streaming rights from the affiliates, and the NY Post’s sources say that the “strategy is paying off.”
Apple’s negotiations for the bundled service, which is rumored to cost anywhere from $10 to $40 a month, have been stymied by the company’s insistence on the standard App Store 30% royalty. TV partners are likely to want more of a cut than just 70%. Other cable channels are probably willing to go with Apple’s terms just to be part of the streaming service. Cable channels such as Discovery are likely to be part of the service, and rumors have it that ESPN (part of the Disney empire along with ABC) will be included as well.
The NY Post article noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook and media chief Eddy Cue were at a “mogulfest” last week, seen chatting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owner of the New England Patriots — Bob Kraft. That set off speculation that Apple could be negotiating a football package, although an unnamed executive joked that it “could have been staging to give TV executives the shivers.”
There’s still no solid word on when — or if — the service will make it to potential cable-cutters.