Apple “Frustrated” Over ESPN Streaming Negotiations

Apple generally gets its way when negotiating given its war chest and the fact that its Apple, but that doesn’t appear to be the case when negotiating with sports programming giant ESPN.

Apple’s Internet TV plans still on hold

For what seems like years, I’ve been writing about the imminent arrival of Apple’s internet TV service, but more often than not I find myself writing about seemingly inexplicable delays with its launch. Today is not different, as Apple seems to be unable to reach an agreement with ESPN. I would say that Apple’s competition, Sling TV, hasn’t had a problem offering its customers ESPN, but it would hardly be accurate to call Sling TV a competitor with Apple’s mounting delays that continue to hamper the Cupertino, CA-based giant.

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In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, ESPN’s president John Skipper shed a bit of light on what continues to slow down the launch of an Apple’s internet TV service. Skipper, in the interview, says that he believes that Apple has been “frustrated by [its] ability to construct something which works for them with programmers.”

It’s quite clear that Skipper believes the perceived “frustration” that Apple is dealing with is not on ESPN but a problem within Apple. “[Apple is] creating a significantly advantageous operating system and a great television experience,” the ESPN president said of the fourth-generation Apple TV. “We are big proponents of believing it would be a fabulous place to sell some subscriptions,” Skipper added.

So what is the problem Apple?

Once again, last year saw, at least in this writer’s eyes, the imminent arrival of Apple’s Internet TV offering. Thankfully, following an August report from Bloomberg, I decoratively stated that it would be 2016 before any announcement was made about a launch.

The primary reason? You guessed it, money. Apple is trying to offer a streaming bundle at around $40, or roughly half the cost of a traditional cable bundle nationwide. Negotiations have continually stalled with content providers, notably CBS, 21st Century Fox, and, yes, ESPN.

But there seems to be another problem. According to the Bloomberg report, Apple simply “doesn’t have the computer network capacity in place to ensure a good viewing experience.”

Apple don’t let me down, Apple will launch an Internet TV service in 2016.