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Here’s why Apple’s TV streaming service died on the negotiation table

by Jacob Kleinman | December 9, 2015December 9, 2015 2:00 pm PST

Apple TV 4 2015-9

Apple‘s long rumored live TV streaming service isn’t launching anytime soon. Earlier today we learned that the Cupertino company had backed down from negotiations with several media giants, and a new report may reveal exactly what went wrong.

It turns out that Apple’s proposed skinny bundle of channels may have been the real culprit. The company apparently planned to offer a little over 10 key channels for $30 per month or less. That’s a huge change from the bloated cable bundles people are used to paying for, and several firms weren’t willing to play along.

For example, 21st Century Fox might not be willing to offer Fox and Fox News without also including FX, FXX and more. Disney faced the same issue, with a lineup of channels that includes ESPN, ABC and Disney along with Disney Junior, ESPN2 and ESPN Classic.

Apple wasn’t willing to bloat its own bundle with those extra channels, and the media giants wouldn’t back down. Cupertino’s software and services chief Eddy Cue apparently offered to sell extra category-focused tiers on top of the main bundle (similar to what Sling TV already does), but that wasn’t good enough either.

It’s possible that the media companies could reconsider in a few years as more people continue to cut their cable cords, but for now it sounds like Apple’s skinny bundle is pretty dead.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...