Apple Puts Live TV Service ‘On Hold’, CBS CEO Moonves Says

  • Network chief sees `skinny bundle' gaining favor with viewers
  • Tech giant is expected to move ahead with television efforts

Apple Inc. has pressed pause on its planned live TV service, CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said Tuesday.

“They’ve had conversations on it and I think they pressed the hold button,” Moonves said at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York. “They were looking for a service.”

The service, which would be delivered via the Internet, was viewed as an alternative to a traditional cable or satellite package. Cupertino, California-based Apple has been in discussions with broadcasters for months.

Apple is one of several companies seeking to offer an alternative to the traditional TV bundle that costs the average U.S. household about $85 a month. Dish Network Corp. this year introduced Sling TV, a $20 package of two-dozen channels. Verizon Communications Inc. has also begun offering a so-called skinny bundle, where customers can choose from among a menu of channels.

Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Apple in August pushed back plans to introduce the service to 2016 from this year, Bloomberg reported at the time.

Moonves, who leads the most-watched U.S. TV network, expects skinny bundles to gain in popularity and detailed the type of service Apple envisions.

“This will happen,” he said. “It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30 to $35, $40 maybe. People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch."

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