Tim Cook biceps

Could Apple be on the verge of unveiling a killer app aimed squarely at cord cutters? After all, the company has long been rumored to have been developing a television streaming service that would trump and undercut the cable with more affordable subscription prices, convenience and ease of use.

According to a new report, there seems to be light at the end of a long tunnel.

“The platform is ready and it rocks,” one source told New York Post yesterday. Talks with major U.S. networks like CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox are reportedly gaining momentum rapidly in terms of securing rights to offer local TV programming.

Previously, Apple went about this licensing business on its own, a strategy which thus far has yielded poor results. But now CEO Tim Cook and his team have apparently asked the networks to obtain those rights on behalf of Apple, and it seems major progress has been made since.

As a result, affiliate groups like Tribune and Sinclair will not only be able to offer their feeds to Apple, but share in the revenue Apple’s TV service will produce, too.

As you know, Apple’s TV service should have been released a long time ago if it hadn’t been for the complex rights issues related to broadcasting affiliate feeds and local TV stations.

“The networks are close to having the right to negotiate with Apple on behalf of their affiliates,” reads the report. Disney or CBS are said to sign the first such deal with Apple sooner than later.

As is its wont, Apple is asking its TV partners to share 30 percent of subscription fees collected from those who would subscribe to the new service through the App Store.

Though exact pricing has not been finalized yet, industry estimates range from $10 to $40 a month for the basic service with cherry-picked channels that might include Discovery and ESPN.

By comparison, a typical cable subscription costs about $80 per month and offers hundreds of channels, of which people watch just a few anyway.  Reportedly launching in late fall, the rumored iTunes television service should stream live and recorded television programming to any Apple device, not just to the $69 Apple TV box.

Source: New York Post