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Apple poised to bring 25 real channels to Apple TV

David Ludlow
17 Mar 2015
Apple TV Main Menu
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New content deal could bring more live-streaming channels to the Apple TV

Although it hasn’t changed the hardware, Apple has been keen to reinvigorate its media streamer, with the Apple TV getting a price drop and HBO Go. It shows that Apple understands that a product like this is as much about the content it has, as it is about raw specifications.

Rumour has it that Apple is planning on taking this even further with the company poised to release its much-fabled Apple TV service and add real TV channels into the mix. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has a deal with top US TV networks to bring 25 channels to the Apple TV. ABC, CBS and Fox are all likely to come to the platform, although NBCUniversal doesn’t look as though it will, with owner Comcast set to deliver its own online TV box. There’s also no word on Time Warner, although as this is the parent company of HBO, there’s clearly already a relationship there, so we may see it join the mix at a later date.

As well as live programming, Apple is said to be interested in taking a package of on-demand content, too. It’s likely that this content will focus on the newer, premium content, leaving Netflix with a larger catalogue of slightly older shows.

Apple is said to be charging around $30 to $40 a month for its new service, which will put it in direct competition with the existing cable networks, and will suit anyone that wants more flexibility. It will also push the Apple TV beyond the Chromecast, which works only with apps that are Cast enabled, making it harder for the service to release its own dedicated TV packages.

What about the UK?

As with all stories like this, the truth is that we’re not likely to see the same content available in the UK. All of Apple’s partners will already have distribution deals with UK networks for their content and will legally be unable to provide the same content in a different way.

This is why HBO Go is not available in the UK, as Sky has the partnership in the UK, with new programming hitting the Sky Atlantic channel. On top of that, the Now TV service (available on Apple TV and Chromecast) already gives people in the UK live access to Sky Atlantic and a host of other services.

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