Report: Apple wants local channels for TV service, may delay launch

The streaming television service Apple is developing may not be part of the fall lineup, thanks to the company ‘s move to try to include local stations in the mix, according to a new report.

The company wants subscribers to be able to use its service to tune into their local stations, something they can’t do with the recently launched Internet-delivered pay TV services from Sony and Dish, according to the report from ReCode. But the trying to get the myriad local stations on board is proving to be a complicated matter.

The major broadcast networks generally own only a portion of the stations around the country that air their programming. The other stations are franchisees that are either independently owned or owned by other corporations.  As ReCode points out, to be able to offer local programming for a significant portion of the country, Apple would have to strike deals with multiple channel owners.

Another complication is that many of the local stations are not prepared to deliver digital streaming video to Apple, ReCode reports.

Apple apparently wants the local programming so that the service will appeal to a broader audience than those consumers who haven’t yet signed up for a pay television service or who have already cut their ties with one.

Unfortunately, the negotiations to get those stations on its service may delay the launch of Apple’s service, ReCode reports. Apple has been planning to launch the service this fall, according to the report. That delay may also mean that the company won’t announce the service at its developer conference next month, as had been expected.

Apple has long been known to be interested in the television market. Rumors have long circulated that it was working on a Internet-connected television and, more recently, on a television service. The company also makes the Apple TV digital set-top box.

The company is widely expected to unveil an update to Apple TV next month. But a report out earlier this week said that the company abandoned its effort to make a television last year.

Photo courtesy of Apple.

 

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