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Apple plans TV service with around 25 channels after falling out with Comcast: WSJ

Apple plans TV service with around 25 channels after falling out with Comcast: WSJ

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Apple's long-rumored online TV service could be announced as soon as June, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company is reportedly preparing to offer a service with around 25 channels from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Viacom, Discovery, and Fox and launch it this September across all iOS devices and the Apple TV. The bundle could include the likes of ESPN and FX, and Apple is said to be pushing for a large on-demand library, but it will likely leave out a lot of smaller networks. Recode said last month that Apple was in talks with broadcasters to offer bundles of content.

Comcast was reportedly "stringing Apple along"

But although the WSJ reported a year ago that Apple was teaming up with Comcast on a set-top box that would take advantage of priority internet traffic, talks between the two are said to have broken down, meaning that the service at present won't include channels from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. The WSJ's sources say Apple decided that Comcast was "stringing it along" while diverting effort to develop its own X1 box.

Last week Apple scored a major media deal when it secured exclusive rights to HBO's over-the-top streaming service for three months, and it also dropped the price of the Apple TV to $69. Rumors of a TV service, a new set-top box, or an entirely new TV itself have been floated for many years; 2015 could be the year that Apple starts to get a grip on the tangled TV industry.

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Update, March 18th, 2AM ET: Added further information on broadcasters from a follow-up Wall Street Journal report.