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Published on October 23rd, 2018 | by Brad Gibson

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Report: Apple plans free streaming TV service in 100-plus countries by July 2019

Apple is scheduled to launch its upcoming TV subscription service in more than 100 countries in the first half of 2019, technology news website The Information reported on Tuesday, citing three people familiar with the situation. The service, which may exist as a standalone app or within the existing TV app, will launch in the US first and become available in more than 100 countries after a few months of availability, the report said. 

It will feature a mix of original programming, access to third-party services, and the ability to subscribe directly to channel packages offered by network and cable providers, much like how Amazon Prime Video now distributes content on Amazon Fire TV using its Channels feature.

Apple has reportedly started negotiating with content providers about what it will pay to carry TV shows and movies, but programming is not expected to be the same in each country, the reported indicated. 

“It is unclear how the original programming will appear next to media companies’ channels, which is an issue as some try to negotiate with Apple about getting their shows on the app, said another person familiar with these discussions,” the report said.

A recent CNBC report claimed Apple may ultimately launch its own paid Netflix-style service, but that it’s looking to find “tent pole” shows that could draw in viewers. 

Apple currently has in production more than 15 original television shows. Rumors have suggested Apple is spending $1 billion on original content in 2018. Some of Apple’s upcoming shows include a morning show drama with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, a half-hour comedy produced by co-creators Charlie Day Rob McElhenney, and an adaption of Isaac Asimov’s famous “Foundation” novels, and a series of children’s shows created with Sesame Workshop.

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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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