For Apple to get a piece of Disney’s “small world” in television, it may have to take on more channels after all for its upcoming TV service. With content negotiations underway between the two parties, both are disagreeing over just how much Disney-owned programming Apple’s livestreaming entry will carry.
Though Apple wants to keep the selection of channels it takes on slim to keep prices down, Disney is pressuring it to take on most of its catalog, including spinoffs of ESPN and the Disney Channel, the Street reported, citing sources. The streaming service, which is expected to be announced in June, followed by a launch in September, may come with as many as 25 channels and content from networks such as ABC, CBS and Fox. Prices are expected to range anywhere from $30 to $40 a month.
While the Apple service is aimed at cord-cutters, the pressure is on from Disney to protect its bundles. “We are extremely big believers in the value of the bundle and I think most American consumers are big believers in the value of the bundle,” Jay Rasulo, Disney's chief financial officer, said at a January investor conference.
Failure to reach a deal with Disney would put Apple’s TV service alongside Sony’s PlayStation Vue, which also has Disney content noticeably absent from its channel lineup. And even though Dish Network was able to secure the sports network and properties from Time Warner for its Sling TV, subscribers will be limited to two million, Ad Age reported.