Samsung Electronics has begun talks with entertainment companies to sell an online TV service, potentially beating to market Apple, whose own talks to offer a subscription video content plan have apparently stalled.Anonymous sources indicated to Bloomberg that the South Korean electronics maker has asked media companies how much they would charge to carry their TV networks in a bundle of channels over the web. Samsung is said to be tentatively exploring whether it could offer the bundle on a global basis, instead of just in the U.S.
If its plans come to fruition, Samsung would join a crowded field of tech companies — so far with little success — to compete with traditional TV providers like Comcast and AT&T. Two of the most prominent cord cutting streaming services with live cable channels are Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.
Samsung already has a presence in the living room, and the company’s connected TVs could serve as a strong launching point for the rumored service. Samsung issued a statement saying it aims to collaborate with content partners, not compete with them.
For its part, Apple is rumored to have been working behind the scenes on a streaming subscription TV service, but has met resistance from content owners. The main sticking point was said to be Apple’s pursuit of a “skinny” channel bundle, featuring just the most popular channels for less than $30 per month. Content owners reportedly balked at that plan, insistent on bundling a variety of channels from their lineups.
For now, Apple is said to be focusing on building out the newly launched tvOS App Store as a platform on which media companies can sell directly to consumers. The new living room-focused App Store is exclusive the fourth-generation Apple TV set-top box.