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Apple streaming TV service rumored for holiday launch despite content deal hold-ups

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A report from the New York Post alleges that Apple hopes to launch a streaming television service by the end of the year, despite gaining little traction in negotiations with content providers.

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apple tv

We've been hearing for months now that Apple has been trying to wrangle content deals for a streaming TV service, and the New York Post has a new report that claims Cupertino is hoping to launch such a service this holiday season — despite gaining little traction with content providers. According to the Post, Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue has been leading the negotiations, with the intent of using apps — presumably on the Apple TV and on iOS devices — as the mechanism for delivery. Apple's would-be partners have allegedly proven resistant to the company's terms, which are said to have Apple determining what programming would be available and at what price. The Post's sources were not specific on whether Apple wants to provide a grouped selection of apps in a subscription-based model, or to simply offer single apps on their own.

The Post alleges that Apple attempted a similar move in 2009, but was rebuffed at that time because it wanted to share in ad revenue — something that does line up with recent statements made by CBS CEO Les Moonves. According to the paper's unnamed sources, Apple has been fighting the battle on multiple fronts, pitching cable operators to replace their current crop of set-top boxes with Apple-designed products that could provide an enhanced user experience, as well as talking to the likes of AT&T and Verizon, who offer their own U-Verse and FiOS television services, respectively.

While it's clear that Apple has grander ambitions in the television space — when speaking about Apple TV last month, CEO Tim Cook stated that "Apple doesn't do hobbies as a general rule" — it's less clear what its timeline will be for achieving those goals. From the chatter alone it's obvious the company realizes the importance of content in the living room, but how it plans to obtain it still remains to be seen.