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Apple in talks with major networks over TV service

The company has been in discussions with CBS, 21st Century Fox and Disney (owner of ABC) among other networks, as it attempts to put together a bundle of popular channels/FILE

The company has been in discussions with CBS, 21st Century Fox and Disney (owner of ABC) among other networks, as it attempts to put together a bundle of popular channels/FILE

NEW YORK, United States, Mar 17 – Apple is in talks with US television networks to offer around 25 channels across any iOS device as soon as September, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The company has been in discussions with CBS, 21st Century Fox and Disney (owner of ABC) among other networks, as it attempts to put together a bundle of popular channels.

Unlike cable bundles, which offer a long list of smaller networks, the California-based tech giant is aiming to assemble a “skinny” bundle of heavy-hitters, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

However NBCUniversal, which owns channels such as NBC, USA and Bravo, is not part of the discussions.

The company was struck from the list after previous talks about a streaming television platform with NBC parent company Comcast ended in a fallout, the Journal said.

In a separate deal, HBO has already partnered with Apple to provide a standalone online TV service that will launch next month on Apple’s streaming media player.

The talks come as television channels and cable operators fear losing viewership to “cord cutters” who drop costly cable subscriptions and rely on online streaming, picking and choosing shows a la carte.

The deal with Apple would allow networks to retain viewers, albeit on alternate platforms.

The approximately 25 channels would be available on all iOS operating system devices such as iPhones, iPads and Apple TV boxes.

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