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Apple to Follow Sling TV With Slim Online Bundle, Reports WSJ

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Another round of Apple rumors: The Wall Street Journal reported today that Apple is in talks to launch an online bundle of streamed TV channels in September. The offering, which could be announced in June, will offer around 25 channels, and cost between $30 and $40 per month, according to the Journal's unnamed sources.

The report speculates that Apple will include programming from ABC, CBS, and Fox channels, but not NBCUniversal, thanks to a spat between Apple and NBCU. It will only be available on Apple devices, including Apple TV set-top boxes, iPads, and iPhones.

Many important details aren't yet clear, such as if Apple will offer live linear streams for local channels, popular basic cable channels, a generous VOD library, and a cloud DVR.

The decision to launch only on Apple devices is a risky one, but the Apple TV's recent price drop (to $69) might help grow market share. When HBO Now launched last week, HBO said it would be available exclusively on Apple devices for three months, but that exclusivity has already fallen apart. Yesterday, Cablevision announced that it's Optimum Online broadband customers in the New York City metropolitan area will be able to sign up for HBO Now in time for the start of the fifth season of Game of Thrones on April 12. A Cablevision PR representative declined to comment on what devices Cablevision's subscribers will use to view HBO Now.

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