On the eve of Apple‘s planned unveiling of its new streaming service, rumor has emerged that the tech giant is in negotiations to acquire programming from HBO, Showtime, and Starz, because none of the planned original offerings is ready.  Apple is hosting “A-list celebrities” and media executives at a huge event on March 25, where it is expected to announce upcoming plans to get into the streaming game to take on Amazon and Netflix.  It is also assumed that Apple will unveil a magazine subscription plan, and possibly new Apple Pay features.  In order to make that deadline, Apple seeks to secure deals with these cable outlets by Friday.

HBO is already available via Apple TV, but when users access it, they are kicked over to that app.  Presumably, Apple wants to keep everything in one easy location.  While Netflix used to be accessible through Apple TV, it is no longer, as Netflix and Hulu do not wish to hand over control or divulge viewing data.  The Netflix app is no longer even offered in the iTunes store.

This new service is expected to be divided up into Apple originals and shows that originate elsewhere.  It was previously reported that the Apple shows will be free to all users of their products– Apple TV, iPhones, IPads, etc.  Because of that, all of its original content must be completely safe for viewers of all ages, races, nationalities, religions, and so forth– no profanity, violence, sex, drugs, or even political or religious imagery.  It’s unclear how the profane, violent, sexual, drug-fueled shows from HBO, Showtime and Starz fit that mold.

Apple has signed multiyear deals with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey to create a variety of shows.  Other big names attached include David S. Goyer (‘Da Vinci’s Demons’),  Francis Lawrence (‘The Hunger Games’), Jon M. Chu (‘Crazy Rich Asians’) and Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’).

Of the shows known to be in development are:

  • Two kids shows from the makers of ‘Sesame Street’
  • A series based on ‘Time Bandits’ to be written and directed by ‘Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi
  • A reboot of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’, a sci-fi anthology, with ‘Once Upon a Time’s  Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz as showrunners
  • ‘See’, a sci-fi series set in a future where humanity has all lost its eyesight, which is compared to ‘The Hunger Games’
  • An undisclosed series from M. Night Shyamalan
  • A space-based drama from ‘Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore
  • A comedy about a morning show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon
  • A series based on Isaac Asimov’s novel ‘Foundation’

Expect more understanding once Apple makes all of its big announcements on the 25th.

Source: Bloomberg