Why Apple's TV subscription service may be delayed

Apple store logo NYC
David Orban (CC BY 2.0)

One of the bigger items believed to be on the docket for WWDC this year is the introduction of a new Apple TV subscription service that will allow consumers to ditch expensive cable in favor of a much cheaper option. Thus far, reports have indicated that Apple's TV service will offer about 25 channels for about $35 a month or so.

But now comes word via Re/Code that there may be a hiccup in Apple's plans. According to the report, Apple's anticipated cord-cutting TV service may be subject to delays due to associated problems with getting local broadcast stations into the subscription package.

Complicating Apple's efforts is the fact that the world of local broadcast TV is often a muddled and layered mess comprised of affiliate stations that aren't actually owned by the major broadcast networks.

The report further adds:

Clearing the rights to show local programs and commercials takes some time... Also, some executives say that providing digital feeds of the programming from dozens of affiliates will also require the broadcasters to build new streaming infrastructure.

All that being said, it sounds like if Apple wants to get all of its ducks in a row before launching its TV subscription service, we might have to wait a while. One can only hope that Apple will bite the bullet and come out with a compelling TV service without local stations in the interim, all the while working hard behind the scenes to bring local stations into the equation.

Besides, with many people opting to cut their cable entirely in favor of services like Netflix, perhaps the demand for local TV stations is not as high as Apple thinks it is. In my opinion, it certainly doesn't seem like a big of enough issue to warrant Apple delaying its subscription TV service altogether.

On that note, Re/Code writes that Apple is harping on local TV stations because it "wants its service to have mass appeal."

Meanwhile, recall that the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back indicated that Apple's rumored TV service is slated to launch sometime this Fall, which is to say we may not see it even discussed at WWDC after all.

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