Apple Hasn't Approached NBC Over Content Deal for Upcoming Streaming TV Service

Over the past couple of weeks, rumors have leaked pointing towards an Apple-branded streaming television service that could include 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month with partners like CBS, ABC, and Fox. NBC and parent company Comcast are not part of the negotiations, and according to a new report from Re/code, that's because Apple has not approached Comcast about a partnership.

Earlier rumors about the streaming television service suggested NBC's absence from the upcoming package was due to a falling out between Apple and Comcast, but on Thursday, Comcast said that wasn't true in a letter that it sent to the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast's letter was a response to a filing from Stop Mega Comcast, a group that's opposed to a Comcast-Time Warner merging, and in it, Comcast said Apple had not even approached NBC for a content deal.

appletv.png

Stop Mega Comcast's note, filed on Wednesday, said, "Comcast may be withholding affiliated NBCUniversal ("NBCU") content in an effort to thwart the entry of potential new video competitors." The note cited a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Apple wasn't talking to NBCUniversal because of a "falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast."

That's a bit right but mostly wrong, Comcast attorney Francis Buono wrote to the FCC: "Not only has NBCUniversal not 'withheld' programming from Apple's new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request." I've asked Apple for comment.

It is not clear why Apple has not approached NBC about a possible content deal for its most recent streaming television efforts, but Apple and Comcast have attempted to negotiate a deal in the past, which didn't pan out. The Wall Street Journal has suggested that earlier talks failed to establish a deal due to Comcast's focus on its own X1 web streaming platform.

As noted by Re/code, Apple could initiate talks with NBC in the future or potentially take advantage of a clause in the contract that was established when Comcast and NBC merged several years back, which would force NBC to license its content to Apple if Apple were able to establish deals with the company's competitors.

Apple may be planning to debut its streaming television service at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Many of the details about the service remain unknown, including the channel lineup Apple is aiming for, but the company is said to be in talks with ABC, CBS, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Discovery, and Viacom, which would give Apple access to channels like Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

The streaming television service may be accompanied by a revamped set-top box, rumored to include an A8 processor, expanded storage, an App Store, and Siri support.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
iOS 18 Wallet Feature

Here's What's New in Apple Wallet on iOS 18 for Event Tickets and More

Friday June 14, 2024 7:32 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a handful of enhancements to the Wallet app on the iPhone, with new features for Apple Pay, Apple Cash, event tickets, and more. Below, we outline everything new for the Wallet app on iOS 18, based on information from Apple's press release and a WWDC 2024 coding session. Redesigned Event Tickets Event tickets have an all-new design in the Wallet app on iOS 18, complete...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

You Can Give Siri a New Name With iOS 18's Vocal Shortcuts

Friday June 14, 2024 4:33 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 added a Vocal Shortcuts accessibility feature, and now that iOS 18 is available in a beta capacity, users have figured out that this option can be used to give Siri a new wake word. With Vocal Shortcuts, you can assign a custom phrase that Siri can understand to launch shortcuts and complete "complex tasks," and one of the shortcuts you can set up is an alternative for "Hey...

Top Rated Comments

Trik Avatar
120 months ago
Because Comcast owns NBC Universal, I wouldn't have shown my hand to them either if I was Apple. Work with the other major players and launch, otherwise Comcast would have some competing box or start undermining Apple before the new :apple:TV even launches. This way is much better, let the public / govt demand NBC be available on the box.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lowercaseperson Avatar
120 months ago
I'm ready for this AppleTV/TV Streaming service event to be entirely underwhelming.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
unobtainium Avatar
120 months ago
I wouldn't really trust anything Comcast has to say.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheRealTVGuy Avatar
120 months ago
I hope Apple doesn't approach them. Launch the service without them, build up a strong user base, and use it as leverage when you finally do negotiate.

Although I'm stuck giving Comcast money every month for non-consistent internet access and the pleasure of speaking to their folks in Bogota, Columbia twice a month, so even with an AppleTV service, Comcast still gets my money...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mykbibby Avatar
120 months ago
"Apple could... potentially take advantage of a clause in the contract that was established when Comcast and NBC merged several years back, which would force NBC to license its content to Apple if Apple were able to establish deals with the company's competitors."

This is what they're doing, and it's absolutely brilliant.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
betabeta Avatar
120 months ago
Clearly Comcast was an issue with Apple and it's original plans.

Now, Maybe Apple said screw it, we will go and get all the providers on our own one by one, and not even reach out to Comcast, let them come to us.

Brilliant! And I for one will live without NBC and all of it's other content for at least a few years, screw it.

Why should Apple go back to these idiots? Clearly Comcast is going to bleed money until it changes it's course.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)