Reports: Disney, CBS Eye Apple TV Service

Would make programs from ABC, Disney Channel, ABC Family, CBS and The CW available on online-TV subscription service
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The Walt Disney Co. and CBS have expressed interest in cutting deals
with Apple to offer programming as part of a monthly Internet TV
subscription service, according to published reports.

The media
companies are in early discussions with Apple on the service, which is
being positioned as a competitor to cable and satellite TV, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times
reported. Disney is said to be considering delivering ABC, ABC Family
and Disney Channel programming, while CBS may provide shows from CBS
and CW, according to the reports.

The model isn't new: Both CBS
and Disney, for example, have deals with Netflix to offer access to a
range of shows to subscribers for a flat monthly fee on a PC or
Internet-connected TV device (see Netflix Gets 'Lost,' Other ABC Fare and Netflix To Stream Disney Channel, CBS Shows).
Netflix also has streaming-video deals with Starz Entertainment, MTV
Networks, Showtime Networks, Discovery Communications and A&E.

Apple's proposed service, which was first reported by the Journal's All Things Digital last month, would be different in the sense that it would be packaged specifically around TV shows.

The
company initially floated a $30-per-month consumer subscription plan
that would be advertising-free but may be rethinking that approach,
according to the Journal. At this point, Apple is proposing
to pay $2 to $4 per month per subscriber for broadcast networks and $1
to $2 per month per subscriber for cable networks, the newspaper
reported.

Meanwhile, to protect their existing pay-TV
subscription models against a rising tide of Internet-delivered video,
cable, satellite and telco TV operators are experimenting with "TV Everywhere" services that would provide programming to Web and mobile devices as part of traditional TV packages.

The most visible TV Everywhere
effort to date has been from Comcast, which last week widened access to
the newly renamed Fancast Xfinity TV service -- with 2,000 hours of
video -- to some 14 million broadband and cable subscribers (see Comcast Keeps 'Beta' Tag On Online TV Service).

Todd Spangler writes for B&C's sister publication Multichannel News.

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