Apple TV Could Be Delayed by Quest for Local Programs

While many analysts have long been talking about the death of cable TV, the road to a world of streaming, anywhere-anytime television isn't yet certain. Apple's plans to launch an online Apple TV service, for instance, could be hitting a snag due to its reported interest in offering live, local programming.

To offer such broadcasts, Apple would have to negotiate terms not only with the major TV networks but with individual local stations that are affiliates or franchisees of those networks. And that could complicate Apple's efforts to secure local broadcast rights.

Apple's interest in offering live, local programs could delay its plans to launch Web TV sometime this fall, according to a report published Friday by Re/code. Citing industry executives, the article also noted that Apple probably hasn't signed any deals with programmers that could be announced at its developers' conference next month.

'Cutting the Cable Cord'

Internet-based, streaming television services such as Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and Netflix are among the forces that have been driving a decline in traditional cable TV subscriptions in recent years. According to data from Nomura Research earlier this year, live ratings on network television in the U.S. dropped by 12.7 from January 2014 to January 2015.

"Basically, broadband Internet is bringing consumers new, over-the-top options like Hulu and Amazon Prime, and with the high-price of cable bundles -- around $125 a month -- consumers are pursuing alternatives," Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Tom Wheeler told a gathering of the National Association of Broadcasters at a conference in Las Vegas last month. "We . . . see a growing number of people cutting the cable cord and pairing an over-the-air antenna with some OTT (over-the-top) services. I expect that we also will see more broadcast channels incorporated into OTT service offerings."

The FCC is proposing...

Comments are closed.