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Report: Disney, CBS kicking tires on Apple’s video service

Tue, 12/22/2009 - 7:20am
Mike Robuck

Apple is trying to lure content owners into taking part in an Internet video service that would be based out of its iTunes store, with CBS and Walt Disney reportedly showing some interest.

The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in a story that said CBS and Walt Disney were considering taking part in Apple’s proposed TV subscriptions over the Internet service, which first came to light in early November.

While it’s not clear if any networks have signed on, Apple hopes to have the service up and running sometime next year.

The WSJ said CBS was considering offering programs from both the CBS and CW networks, while Disney is considering including programs from its ABC, Disney Channel and ABC Family networks.

Disney might be willing to bite on the Apple service based on its past experiences with iTunes, and the fact that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Disney based on Disney’s acquisition of Jobs’ Pixar in 2006.

Apple could face an uphill climb in securing content from the likes of Time Warner Inc., which is providing content to Time Warner Cable’s TV Everywhere service, and NBC Universal, which Comcast plans to buy a majority stake in.

Earlier this month, Comcast launched its Xfinity service nationwide, although it referred to it as a beta launch.

More Broadband Direct 12/22/09:
•  Cable Euro Labs starts middleware project
•  CableLabs' Liao supports more technical resources for FCC
•  In the media: TWC badgered about content deal
•  Report: Disney, CBS kicking tires on Apple's video service
•  Clearwire commences rights offering
•  Berkshire Hathaway names Comcast's Burke to board
•  FairPoint creates new positions in New England
•  Broadband Briefs for 12/22/09
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