The Canal+ Group is making its CanalPlay Infinity video on demand service available in France on Apple TV. The latest addition to the Apple box follows HBO GO, WatchESPN and Sky News, amid talk that Time Warner could offer pay-television channels to its subscribers through Apple TV.
The CanalPlay Infinity service includes films from French and international studios, television series including leading American dramas, and kids programmes. It is available without a long-term contract for €9.99 a month for unlimited use on television, as well as on computers and tablets.
Canal+ Group said the new agreement demonstrates its commitment to open its unlimited VOD offering to all connect television platforms. In less than two years, CanalPlay Infinity has been deployed across the television boxes of all the major internet service providers in France, as well as on the iPad, Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac computers and Xbox 360, with Android to follow.
The CanalPlay Infinity service can be accessed through an icon on the Apple TV home screen, with a free one-month trial available using an iTunes login. Once activated, users can also access the service on an iPad or personal computer.
In June, HBO GO and WatchESPN became available on Apple TV, together with other services like Sky News.
There is also talk that Time Warner Cable is in discussion with Apple about bringing pay-television channels to the Apple TV.
Time Warner Cable already has a deal with Roku, which provides a box that competes with Apple TV. The free TWC TV app for the Roku box provides access to around three hundred channels, including most major broadcast and cable networks, available to Time Warner Cable subscribers, within their home.
Apple is steadily extending the range of premium programming, including live channels, available through its television device.
Slowly, it seems, Apple TV is becoming less of a hobby, although it is not clear whether these moves presage a much-anticipated move by Apple into the television market.
Apple is evidently in discussions with pay-television providers like Canal+ and Sky, and both parties are experimenting with the model of making premium programming available through Apple TV.
More than 13 million Apple TV boxes have been sold since the first generation device was released in 2007. Although a substantial number, it is small compared to around 350 million iPhones and nearly 150 million iPads the company has sold.
Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple has often said that television is an area of “intense interest” and the company will continue to “pull the string and see where it leads” although he repeatedly refuses to be drawn on where that might be.
The current approach appears to be to embrace existing television subscription services and extend their television everywhere model to Apple TV.