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Apple Plans To Launch Own Version Of Web TV Service: Report

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Apple has been showing TV programmers a demo of its planned TV business that will allow the company to offer consumers an "over the top" pay TV service.

Part of the plan is putting together bundles of programming and selling them directly to consumers over the Internet.

Apple has made several attempts to have a firm position in the TV business. Back in 2009, it introduced a monthly subscription service worth $30. Since then, it has been testing a number of strategies as a way to find out which one would work best.

One of its recent plans included working with pay TV providers such as Time Warner Cable, which would allow Apple to provide its customers with both hardware and software offerings.

This time around, Apple has changed its plan and decided to venture into the TV business without having to work with the TV pipe owners, turning instead to working with the TV content owners.

"Apple has shown programmers demos of the proposed service," sources said. "But talks seem to be in the early stages, which means terms like pricing and timing aren't close to being ironed out. Several programmers say they've yet to start talks with Apple at all."

Apple's proposed TV service is akin to what is offered by Sling TV. The latter currently charges customers with a monthly subscription worth $20. Customers gain access to everything on ESPN and over 100 other channels. These include the Food Network, TBS, TNT, Disney Channel, Adult Swim and CNN.

Customers can opt out anytime they want since no contracts are needed in the subscription. Moreover, they can enjoy the service with whatever device they are using since the Sling TV app can work on any screen type.

Apple will be working on making an easier and more standard TV experience across networks for the consumers, which is something that Sling TV finds difficult to achieve. There will be a tight integration with Apple's current hardware, which could pave the way for the company to decide on updating its Apple TV set-top box.

"One big advantage for Apple's over-the-top TV service is that Bob Iger (ESPN, ABC, Disney channels) is on its board," tweeted Daisuke Wakabayashi of the Wall Street Journal.

So far, Apple's venture into the TV programming business is done solely through the Apple TV box wherein users can access Web TV using their conventional TV. Details such as pricing and launch date of the newly proposed venture are yet to be settled as talks about the service are still in their early stages.

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