Apple may lose Disney's channels for internet TV service

Talks between Apple and Disney over providing content for a new internet TV service might have broke down, following disagreements as to what channels should be available on the service.

Apple is looking to add the necessary channels, most likely ESPN, Disney Channel and potentially some of the A+E and ABC channels connected to Disney through partner groups.

The problem is Disney wants even more content on the internet TV service, so much so that Apple would need to increase its monthly price, unless it was able to offer the other channels as part of an extended package.

It is not clear what channels Disney is pushing, but it seems like a near full catalogue including channels that are rarely watched on cable.

Apple is aiming for 20 to 30 channels at launch for $30 to $40 per month. It is planning to grab deals with the very best, potentially including HBO, History, TBS, TNT, AMC and a variety of other prime-time cable channels.

This would put Apple in contention against Dish Network, which also features some of the most popular channels. Sony also launched PlayStation Vue, but this is a much larger commitment at $50 starting price and $84 for the full bundle.

One channel Apple won’t be getting is USA Network, the most viewed prime-time channel in America. Discussions between Apple and NBC Universal, which is owned by Comcast, broke down before rumours of the internet TV service even began to swirl.

That could be a dent in an otherwise large amount of content. We still have no idea how Apple will integrate more channels, whether it will offer topical bundles like Dish Network, or packages like PlayStation Vue.

Rumours claim Apple is planning a huge revamp of the Apple TV to prepare for the launch of its internet TV service. This might mean a whole new user interface, redesigned around subscribing to Apple’s service alongside other streaming services such as Netflix.