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Apple wants is for April to launch TV service with CBS, Viacom and Starz

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. shop is seen on the day of the new iPhone 7 smartphone launch in Los Angeles, California, USA, 16 September 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) – Apple Inc is facing April, an appointment to a streaming television service that will probably be subscription TV services from CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp Starz, among others, as his own original content, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Apple has long hinted at a planned video service, spending $2 billion in Hollywood for the production of its own content and signing of the big stars such as Oprah Winfrey. The TV service is expected to start globally, a person familiar with the matter said, an ambitious move to rival services from Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. ‘ s Prime Video. Apple’s App Store, where the service is likely to be spread, is currently available in more than 100 countries.

But it has kept her exact plans for how it will spread shows a secret, even as investors began to focus on the revenue from paid subscriptions as a replacement for the growth of the iPhone sales, which declined in the holiday shopping quarter for the first time ever last year.

Apple strives to bring together her own shows in one central location with content from media companies, the save of the iPhone and other Apple devices don’t have to juggle with multiple apps for the channels, the sources said. Apple is focused on the selling of TV-channel subscriptions, similar to Amazon, the Prime Video Service sells Starz, and other channels and keeps a cut of the revenue.

Apple is also in discussions with HBO, part of AT&T Inc.-owned WarnerMedia, to become part of the service and it was still on time for the launch, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The terms of Apple’s deals may not be learned. Apple has usually sought a reduction of 30 percent of the apps in the App Store to 15 percent for premium channel apps like HBO.

Apple, CBS, HBO, Starz and Viacom declined to comment. CNBC earlier reported Apple was targeting an April or May launch for the service.

The tv services launch comes as Apple builds its services segment, which brought in $37.1 billion in fiscal 2018.

The Wall Street Journal this week reported that large publishers like the New York Times and Washington Post balked at the proposed terms and conditions of any paid news service from Apple in which the iPhone maker would keep as much as half of the subscription fees. An announcement for the news service is expected in March, Buzzfeed reported.

Reporting by Kenneth Li in Osaka, Japan and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Tom Brown

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