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Published on November 5th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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Perfect for the big screen, Apple News snubs Apple TV of election results hub Nov. 6

Less than 24 hours before one of the biggest news events of 2018, Apple will provide real-time, midterm election results in the U.S. Tuesday evening in its Apple News app for devices like the iPhone, but nothing on the very platform best meant for watching video and complex returns, the Apple TV streaming device.

The announcement, first reported last Friday by TechCrunch, detailed how Apple News will replace its current midterm elections editorial content at 8 pm EDT on November 6 with live tracking graphics showing the balance of party power in both the House and Senate. 

In addition, another set of live updating infographics will be available showing the live results from the most interesting House, Senate or Gubernatorial races, as well as offer a complete list of federal election results in every state, including House and Senate seats.

CBS News, CNN and Fox News will also contribute video clips to the Election Night hub, while ABC will offer a live video feed, which will not require authentication with a TV provider. Another live video feed from NBC News will appear in a widget alongside the Live Results infographic.

The coverage will be available to users through the Apple News app on mobile devices using iOS. There are indications it will also be available through the Apple News app for MacOS Mojave, but we have not been able to fully confirm this. In either case, these devices can be broadcast to an Apple TV using AirPlay, but because of the dimensions of iOS and MacOS devices, they cannot be fully viewed in a traditional TV display format.

apple_news_midterm_graphicApple will provide live video and graphical results on iOS and MacOS devices for the midterm elections this Tuesday night, but as for Apple TV, well, you’ll have to count on the apps of the various TV and streaming networks.

Sources have confirmed to BESTAppleTV the one-time event coverage will not be made available to Apple TV users through an app.

Apple could have provided a similar service on tvOS, making it much easier for viewers to see the results together with a live feed – or even multiple feeds – of services like ABC News Now, CBSN, and Bloomberg TV. 

The technology giant has not expanded its news department resources to Apple TV, but instead, has focused its efforts solely on mobile devices and most recently, an app for the Mac operating system. 

Apple has been playing up its approach of news curation by starting its own editorial staff of journalists who are packaging content from various news organizations to create general news topics and special coverage of big events. The department was recently highlighted in a feature by the New York Times (subscription required to read).

Various sources familiar with the company’s news strategy report that Apple doesn’t feel consumers would read and scroll through text content on their television even if it were presented in a simple, browserless style. Those same sources said Apple has also not decided on if or how it would create a video-centric news app for Apple TV that like its iOS app recommends on-demand editorial content and as a result, that it has no plans to create such a product at this time.

Although the Apple editorial team will be linking to news content it finds through manual, human intervention on Tuesday night, the election infographics will be automated through data generated by the Associated Press and its election services division. 

The midterm election results will be based on actual returns reported by the election commissions in all 50 states, but also by projections based on exit polling taken by the organizations new AP VoteCast service.

Associated Press sources tell BESTAppleTV the data being provided to Apple News will be automated using its election Application Program Interface – or API – that will then be fed to Apple’s proprietary software tool to then generate the on-screen results graphically.

Apple’s media relations department has not replied to repeated requests of confirmation or comment for this story.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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