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CBS president’s latest words stoke flames of rumored Apple TV service

Apple TV HD remote.
Apple’s mythical Internet TV service — expected to launch with the Apple TV set-top box before that plan was scrapped at the last moment — appears to be picking up steam once again. According to a Bloomberg report, CBS President and CEO Les Moonves says a deal that would add the network to Apple’s live service is likely — at some point, anyway.

“Apple is having conversations with everyone about doing their own streaming services,” Moonves said on Bloomberg TV. “We have had those conversations, as have the other networks. Do I think something will happen? Probably, but I do not know when.”

While the ambiguous statement is certainly far from a guarantee, it’s the first real movement we’ve heard about the proposed streaming service since it was rumored to be in limbo following disagreements over licensing deals. Specifically, it’s believed that Apple was hoping to lock down affiliate deals with a wide array of local programming from major broadcast networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox.

Locking down those local affiliates has been much easier said than done, however, and MacRumors reported in June that Apple had enlisted the help of the big four networks to close deals with affiliate groups like Tribune and Sinclair.

The tech giant is no doubt hoping to score a coupe of sorts over the two other biggest players in the burgeoning realm of live Internet TV, including Dish Network’s Sling TV, and Sony’s Playstation Vue.

With a starting price of just $20, Sling TV’s selection of 20 or so channels (including popular networks like ESPN and AMC) has had some success since launching in April across a growing selection of devices, while Sony’s pricier homegrown offering — which has packages from $50-70 — has had a harder time wooing viewers away from cable.

Apple’s offering is believed to start at $40, meaning the service will likely need to bring something new to the table to convince viewers to not only buy in to the service itself, but also to ditch other streaming devices for the Apple TV.

While Moonves’ remarks provide only a sliver of momentum, it’s good news for those wondering if Apple’s service had taken the path of so many before it, slipping into the realm of fairy tale.

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