Apple’s Pay TV Play Faces Delay: Report

Apple's plan to launch an over-the-top pay TV service this fall could be delayed because the company wants, but is having trouble securing, “widespread access” to the live TV feeds of local broadcasters, Recode reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

According to the report, Apple aims to differentiate on other over-the-top MVPDs by offering local broadcast stations nationwide. Sling TV, Dish’s new OTT service, is looking into offering locals in a broadcast tier that subs could add on if they choose to, but won’t be required to. Sony’s new PlayStation Vue service, meanwhile, has been launched in three markets – New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia – but those initial rollouts got underway without ABC in the lineup.

The report follows ongoing rumors that Apple has been in talks with programmers, including major broadcasters, to introduce a slimmed-down pay TV service sometime this fall that would cost $30 to $40 per month.

Unnamed industry execs told Recode that they don’t believe Apple has signed any TV programmers for its proposed service. An industry source told Multichannel News recently that Apple would be “hard-pressed” to launch a meaningful pay TV service this fall based on the lack of progress it's made in notching distribution deals with major programmers.