Apple Takes On TV Again

If you’re looking for an alternative to TV Everywhere, so that you can get TV everywhere, Apple might be coming up with a solution for you.  iTunes, which is already everywhere except on your TV, could be the next venue for you to watch TV on your schedule.  Apple has been pitching the idea of selling a monthly subscription that would distribute TV content over the media channels that it already serves.  Peter Kafka in MediaMemo points out that this service could “theoretically rival the ones that most people already buy from cable TV operators”, except that rather than accepting the bundle that your cable service chooses for you, you’d be able to choose the programming you want.  So essentially, the Apple proposition is to do for television what it has done for music – give the consumer the choice.  The big fly in the ointment, to no one’s great surprise is the networks.  Kafka says that so far no programmers have made commitments to Apple, though Disney would be the likely first company to sign on. Aside from that, “Cable networks, for instance, don’t want to threaten existing relationships and subscription fees from cable providers like Comcast (CMCSA). And programmers are also worried about the effect a subscription service would have on advertising revenue: Even if the service didn’t distribute TV programs until after their initial air date, that could cut into ratings, which now measure viewership over the course of several days.” But between Hulu (which is seriously considering a subscription service itself), Roku’s TV box  and Netflix’s streaming service, this seems like an idea whose time has come. And it would certainly be a redeemer for Apple, which failed so miserably with itsTV box

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