Apple TV could switch on live NFL games, local channels this year

Apple TV

Watching local television on Apple TV in the US is a dream that could come true this Fall. Months-long negotiations between Apple and major television networks, such as NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox are making progress, bringing on the possibility of a September announcement.

If you've been following the story, you'll know that talks have been ongoing since March, when we first heard reports that Apple was looking to add local broadcasting to its Apple TV offering. Since then, WWDC 2015 has come and gone without any news on how things are progressing. As it turns out, the cause for delay is mostly because of one problem: television networks didn't have the rights to freely distribute the feeds of its local affiliates with Apple.

Initially, Apple was told that these rights would need to be acquired individually if the company wanted to display local content to Apple TV owners. But because money talks, these television networks could now have all the rights necessary to license local feeds to Apple. How? Local affiliates of major television networks are being promised a cut of the overall revenue if they offer live content on Apple TV.

Apple TV's killer app

Offering access to live local news could be the killer app that the Apple TV needs to distinguish itself in the growing market of set-top boxes. But Apple is also currently in negotiation to expand its platform with cable channels like Discovery and ESPN. It's looking more and more like this venture into television will take on the likes of established cable-cutter services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

New York Post also reports that Tim Cook and Eddy Cue were spotted having a chat with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. This could have been a friendly meet and greet, but we're putting our money on these Apple execs trying to get the NFL onboard with its Apple TV television plans in some form. Fingers crossed for live games.

We expect to hear all about Apple TV's live, local television in the coming months, maybe even stealing a bit of the spotlight during Apple's annual September keynote.

Via New York Post

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.