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Apple Said to Delay Live TV Service to 2016 as Negotiations Stall

Apple TV (bfishadow/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)
Apple TV (bfishadow/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc. customers waiting for the company to revolutionize live television as it did for music and phone service will have to keep waiting, at least until next year.

The company wanted to introduce this year a live TV service delivered via the Internet, but is now aiming for 2016, said people familiar with Apple’s plans. Talks to license programming from TV networks such as those owned by CBS Corp. and 21st Century Fox Inc. are progressing slowly, some of the people said. Apple also doesn’t have the computer network capacity in place to ensure a good viewing experience, said some of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Without enough content deals in place, Apple has scrapped plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, which would have coincided with the beginning of the new network TV season, the people said. The Cupertino, California-based company still plans to introduce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box at the event, said the people, but customers — for now, at least — will need a cable or satellite TV subscription or an antenna to watch live network television.

Television programming is a key part of Apple’s strategy to use music, information and entertainment to keep the company and its devices at the center of people’s digital lives.

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