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Report: Apple TV Streaming Service Launch Delayed Until 2016

14 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Apple’s much-speculated year-end subscription streaming service, Apple TV, reportedly won’t launch until 2016.

The service, which would have been the fifth major over-the-top video service bow of the year following Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, HBO Now and Showtime, has encountered content licensing issues, including live sports, in addition to technical issues, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

Apple had planned to launch the service along with an updated Apple TV streaming device in the fourth quarter.

While the report suggested challenges such as content license agreements with 21st Century Fox and CBS Corp. had grown pricier following the burgeoning rise of OTT video and its impact on pay-TV subscribers and linear TV advertising, a separate (and surprising) challenge involves technology.

Specifically, the Apple TV service, which will offer both live and VOD programing, would require distribution through the tech giant’s four data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon. This scenario could encounter problems delivering live sports to East Coast viewers via West Coast data centers, according to the report.

Indeed, Netflix is set to shutter its last data center later this year as it transitions much of its IT infrastructure to the cloud — specifically Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Wall Street Journal reported that the shift would make Netflix the largest customer for AWS, which also incorporates IT for rival Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The switch to AWS wouldn't affect Netflix video streams, which will continue to be delivered via proprietary content delivery networks (CDNs) located at major ISPs such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Verizon and AT&T.

More than 20% of large enterprise companies are expected to operate entirely in the cloud by 2022, according to The Journal.

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