According to numerous sources, this Fall Apple will launch its own web TV service ? which would likely offer around 25 over-the-top channels from major broadcasters ? and cost $30 or $40 per month. At this point, Disney, Fox, CBS, Discovery and others are on board, but Comcast (which owns NBC Universal) is conspicuously absent.
The service, which is rumored to become available in September of this year, will likely only work with Apple hardware, including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
This is an ambitious plan for Apple, which historically has been a hardware company that got into content as a way to drive sales of its hardware. But with TV networks finally agreeing to open up their networks to online options, Apple is looking to disrupt the TV industry. According to TechCrunch, ?If the company does really launch a streaming TV service this fall, expect TV hardware to be viewed in a new light, by both Apple and consumers alike.?
Meanwhile, other companies are looking to do the same. This week, Dish Network, which recently launched a web-based service called Sling TV, has just announced some upgrades. On the content side, it?s adding A&E Network channels at the end of the month. On the distribution side, Sling TV will become available through the Xbox One service.
Whether the movement is called cord cutting, unbundling or skinny TV, all of these options are symptomatic of the unraveling of the TV distribution system as we know it. But, as Gizmodo points out, the new options won?t necessarily make TV and Internet services cheaper in the long run.