Disney, CBS May Bite On Apple TV Service: Reports
Programs From ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, CBS, CW Rumored to Be in the Mix
By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 12/22/2009 5$00 AM

The Walt Disney Co. and CBS have expressed interest in cutting deals with Apple to offer programming as part of a monthly Internet TV subscription service, according to published reports.

The media companies are in early discussions with Apple on the service, which is being positioned as a competitor to cable and satellite TV, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported. Disney is said to be considering delivering ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channel programming, while CBS may provide shows from CBS and CW, according to the reports.

The model isn't new: Both CBS and Disney, for example, have deals with Netflix to offer access to a range of shows to subscribers for a flat monthly fee on a PC or Internet-connected TV device (see Netflix Gets 'Lost,' Other ABC Fare and Netflix To Stream Disney Channel, CBS Shows). Netflix also has streaming-video deals with Starz Entertainment, MTV Networks, Showtime Networks, Discovery Communications and A&E.

Apple's proposed service, which was first reported by the Journal's All Things Digital last month, would be different in the sense that it would be packaged specifically around TV shows.

The company initially floated a $30-per-month consumer subscription plan that would be advertising-free but may be rethinking that approach, according to the Journal. At this point, Apple is proposing to pay $2 to $4 per month per subscriber for broadcast networks and $1 to $2 per month per subscriber for cable networks, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, to protect their existing pay-TV subscription models against a rising tide of Internet-delivered video, cable, satellite and telco TV operators are experimenting with "TV Everywhere" services that would provide programming to Web and mobile devices as part of traditional TV packages.

The most visible TV Everywhere effort to date has been from Comcast, which last week widened access to the newly renamed Fancast Xfinity TV service -- with 2,000 hours of video -- to some 14 million broadband and cable subscribers (see Comcast Keeps 'Beta' Tag On Online TV Service).