It’s looking like 2015 will finally be the year that Apple’s dream TV service becomes a reality.
After years of reports that the company has been trying to get its own TV subscription off the ground, June is on track to be the month it’s debuted for the world to see. The service will reportedly offer around 25 channels and cost a little more than the competition.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple plans to debut the service in June, which happens to be the same time it holds its Worldwide Developers Conference every year. It would then be released in September, which is when new iPhones are typically announced.
The subscription will allegedly cost $30-$40 month, which is a tad pricer than Sling TV’s core $20 package. 25 channels may sound like not that many, but Sling TV’s cable-free subscription only offers 14 with $5 add-on packs like “Kids Extra” and “News & Info Extra.”
According to the Journal, the likes of ABC, CBS and Fox are lined up as partners with Apple. But NBCUniversal is not on board because Apple has interestedly had a falling out with the network’s parent company, Comcast.
“Apple and Comcast were in talks as recently as last year about working together on a streaming television platform that would combine Apple’s expertise in user interfaces with Comcast’s strength in broadband delivery,” notes the Journal. “Apple came to believe that Comcast was stringing it along while the cable giant focused on its own X1 Web-enabled set-top box, the people said.”
Last month Recode reported that Apple was back on track to introduce a TV service for cord cutters, with the claim that “talks seem to be in the early stages, which means terms like pricing and timing aren’t close to being ironed out.” If the Journal’s report from today is to be believed, the negotiations have been moving very quickly.
Apple and HBO just exclusively partnered to offer HBO Now, which is the first time HBO has been completely unbundled from cable. The Apple TV was also discounted to $69, a move that could easily be a strategic way to help drive subscription sales down the road.