Report Apple To Include Local Stations In Streaming TV Service, Likely To Delay Launch

Apple is hoping to include live programming and local TV channels in its rumored TV streaming service but its desire to secure such content could delay the service’s launch, according to a report by Re/code.

Citing industry executives “familiar with Apple’s plans”, the report claims that Apple wants to offer local broadcast programming in cities across the US in order to differentiate its offering from similar services from Sony and Dish.

Apple’s ambitions have complicated its negotiations with the broadcast TV networks, because most broadcasters don’t own all their local stations, and have an affiliate, or franchise system.

Clearing the rights to show local programs and commercials takes some time — ABC, for instance, spent two years getting the rights to show live programming via its Watch ABC app, and its livestreams remain limited to viewers in eight cities.

The difficulties the Cupertino company is reportedly facing mean that Apple may not be ready to launch its web TV service by early fall as it apparently planned to do. That also makes any announcement of the service at next month’s WWDC unlikely.

It was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal that Apple is planning to show off the new streaming TV service in June with a launch following in the fall with big-name networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and FX on board.

The web-based TV service for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and other devices was expected to include around 25 channels for a price of $30 to $40 per month. Today’s Re/code report suggest that this cross-device functionality is still on the cards, but the predicted September launch is not.

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