Hoping to streamline the process of watching television to just a few software updates per day, plus buffering, Apple is said to be putting together its own Internet TV service of around 25 channels that it will stream directly to Apple products. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is finally looking to make good on years of rumors that it will turn its Apple TV into a cable killer, offering a “slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall” that will make your cable package feel bloated and fat, until it falls into a shame spiral and commits suicide.
Or cable could simply die of loneliness, as the Apple plan explicitly targets those who have trumpeted their desire to cut the cord on expensive, overstuffed cable packages, and instead tangle themselves in the cords and dongles of Apple’s moderately expensive, far more barren lineup. Right now that 25-channel bundle is believed to include the ability to live-stream broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, and Fox, plus a select few cable stations like Discovery and—most crucially for many subscribers—ESPN. Notably absent from that list is NBC, due to a recent “falling out” between Apple and NBC’s parent company Comcast, and the fact that major media corporations make business decisions based on petty grudges.
According to the WSJ’s sources, the Apple TV service is believed to run around $30 to $40 a month—a cost that is definitely smaller than the traditional cable subscription. However, that’s obviously not taking into account the broadband you’ll still have to buy to use it, the service of which will run you at least another $30 to $40, depending on how much Comcast takes out its revenge on you.
It’s also not clear yet whether that 25-channel bundle would include the recently announced HBO Now, or whether you’d still have to pay an additional $15 on top of that. So in the end, shunning cable for Apple could still end up costing you around $80-$100 per month. Still, it would save you from the hassle of having another 50 or so channels to think about watching, thus freeing up more time for bragging about how you don’t have cable anymore.
While an official announcement is still forthcoming, the report is already setting off discussion about the disruption this could cause to the traditional cable subscription model, and all of the alternative services and gadgets for streaming content that will replace it—the sort of discussion that has made TV so fun and relaxing in 2015.