Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had rumors swirling around it that a web-based TV service is coming at some point – ever since it was first reported last fall. Apple TV has found more success than what Steve Jobs would have imagined, but now the company is even in talks with roughly 25 different networks and production companies to bring a full-blown subscription television service to users as early as this fall.
The launch would reportedly be in September and would include some major names like CBS, Fox, ABC, and several others. The move would be one that wouldn’t just be interesting given the company’s former CEO’s rough opinion of television in general – but also given the climate of cable companies. Right now, if the reports are accurate – there is one major name that is missing from the lineup of channels and companies that would be working with Apple on this project.
NBC Universal is missing from the agreement, and after a rough falling out with Apple last year during negotiations – it would appear as though the chances of seeing NBC within the lineup would be slim-to-none. That being said, many have argued that there wouldn’t be a subscription service without NBC Universal so it’s something that will simply remain to be seen as details become clearer.
What is crystal clear right now is that this would put pressure on cable companies, which are currently tied to scheduling and a lack of competition. If Apple can produce something that is profitable for the channels behind it – this would be something that would be appealing to those who are looking to cut the cord. This would put a lot of pressure on cable companies to pull something together and make something work – as the company struggles to make ends meet on a number of fronts – and they watch their overall numbers decline.
Either way, the slimmed down version of a cable-lineup, combined with a good on-demand package could be just the thing that would really do damage to the struggling cable industry as a whole – as more users work toward cutting the cord entirely – and going exclusively to these pay-per-month subscription services – like Netflix, Hulu, and perhaps Apple TV in the near-future.