Apple Frustrated by Inability to Reach Deals With TV Programmers for Television Service

ESPN president John Skipper spoke with The Wall Street Journal in an interview this morning, revealing some insider details on Apple's struggle to establish deals with content providers for a streaming television service.

According to Skipper, Apple is "frustrated" by its ongoing inability to find a mutually advantageous way to work with programmers. Though no deals have been established, ESPN "continues" trying to work with Apple on some kind of partnership.

watchespnappletvimage

They are creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience and that television experience is fabulous for sports. We are big proponents of believing it would be a fabulous place to sell some subscriptions. We have ongoing conversations. They have been frustrated by their ability to construct something which works for them with programmers. We continue to try to work with them.

Skipper's comments are in line with recent rumors made by CBS CEO Les Moonves, who said Apple "pressed the hold button" on its streaming television plans after it was unable to establish the necessary deals. Rumors throughout 2015 suggested Apple was aiming to create a web-based television product that would offer a small bundle of channels for $30 to $40 per month.

Apple has been attempting to create some kind of television service since 2009, but the company has run into resistance from cable and content providers time and time again because of a reluctance to interrupt existing revenue streams and fundamentally shift the way cable is provided.

ESPN's deal with Sling TV, a service that offers streaming access to major cable channels, offers some insight into where Apple may be running into trouble establishing deals. There is an option in ESPN's contract with Sling TV that lets the deal be terminated should it cannibalize ESPN's core pay TV business, something Apple likely wouldn't have agreed to. Apple is also said to have run into trouble getting content providers to unbundle their channels.

While Skipper believes 2016 will see "further announcements" of different streaming packages from new companies, it is not likely Apple will be among them. The company's content struggles have caused it to put its streaming service on hold, with plans to instead focus on the tvOS App Store and its position as a platform that gives media companies tools to sell content directly to customers.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Tag: ESPN
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

blut haus Avatar
83 months ago
The cable providers are notoriously greedy and out of touch with what people want. They insist on garbage bundling. One good channel with 10 other crap ones. Apple is going to need to use some of that famous cash reserve and invent us something entirely new. Go straight to the content creators.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jetjaguar Avatar
83 months ago
Wish apple would just do a service like apple music with their whole movie and tv catalog
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macintologist Avatar
83 months ago
I'm a "cord-never." I've never subscribed to cable and I never will, whether it's literally cable or whether it's fed through an internet pipe. I'm never paying $40/month for a bunch of channels I don't want.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menel Avatar
83 months ago
The cable providers are notoriously greedy and out of touch with what people want. They insist on garbage bundling. One good channel with 10 other crap ones. Apple is going to need to use some of that famous cash reserve and invent us something entirely new. Go straight to the content creators.
Bundles are ok... sometimes.

Hulu nails it. NBC, CW, Fox, ABC. (stills needs CBS for the new Colbert) Bundled in, basically the major over the air channels. But instead of being on their over the air schedule, I'm at the leisure of my own schedule.

Plus Hulu's home grown content.
Plus Comedy Central.

It's quite brilliant. They basically solved it if they would just get CBS. Ad-free for $12/mo. It's perfectly reasonable.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
83 months ago
what was apple expecting? a breezy deal?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SoAnyway Avatar
83 months ago
This is a frustrated apple.

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp to Let Users Leave Group Chats 'Silently' and View Rich Link Previews in Status Updates

Tuesday May 17, 2022 3:07 am PDT by
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to "silently" leave group chats hosted by the messaging platform instead of all members of the group being notified when they do. As it stands, when someone leaves a group chat, WhatsApp announces their exit to the entire group, making the act of leaving very public. It's not possible right now to leave a group quietly, but WhatsApp...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday May 16, 2022 9:57 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5, the fifth major update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5 comes more than two months after the release of tvOS 15.4, an update that brought support for captive WiFi networks. tvOS 15.5 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple...