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Apple Subscription TV Service Won't Be Announced Next Week

Apple may not launch a subscription TV service this year.

Asa Mathat

Apple won’t be announcing its much-anticipated subscription TV service next week at its Worldwide Developer Conference, according to several people with knowledge of the situation.

The Cupertino technology company has told network executives the planned unveiling will be postponed because Apple has yet to finalize the licensing deals. Industry executives predict Apple’s Web TV offering may not launch until later this year, or in 2016. Technology and money issues remain sticking points.

Apple wanted to launch a subscription TV service in early fall to coincide with the start of the new broadcast television season. But the debut got bogged down by negotiations over financial terms and new technology that would be required for broadcasters to deliver local programming to Apple’s Web TV service.

The company wants to provide customers in cities around the U.S. with programming from their local broadcast stations. That would distinguish Apple’s planned offering from those already available from Sony and Dish’s Sling, which to date have only offered local programming in a handful of cities, or none at all.

Broadcasters don’t own all the local TV stations that air network programming, and clearing the rights to show local programs and commercials is a time-consuming process.

CBS CEO Les Moonves became the first network executive to indicate that he would “probably” sign a deal with Apple to carry his network.

“We’re very excited about it,” he told Kara Swisher at the Code Conference, adding that he met with Apple media boss Eddy Cue a few weeks ago to discuss Apple’s plans, as part of an “ongoing conversation.” So far the main negotiating point, according to Moonves: “Money.”

This article originally appeared on

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