New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Could Offer HBO, Showtime, and Starz Channels as 'Premium TV Bundle'

Apple is considering offering HBO, Showtime, and Starz television channels in a combined "premium TV bundle" to be delivered to viewers via Apple TV and iOS devices, according to a new report on Sunday.

Apple already enables users to buy the named channels individually, but according to a source who spoke to Recode, Apple has approached the three networks about rolling them up into a single paid package similar to how conventional TV operators market their channels.


However, unlike paid TV operators like Charter, which usually require consumers to subscribe to a basic range of TV channels before offering a premium bundle, Apple wants to provide the package as an upfront standalone option for all its consumers.

Apple has yet to nail down a deal with any of the networks, according to industry sources, while representatives from HBO, Stars, and Showtime declined to comment on the report. Apple also didn't respond to requests for comment.

Apple currently offers HBO for $15 a month, Showtime for $11 a month, and Stars for $9 a month, but Recode had no information on the price of any possible bundle package.

Apple's attempts to set up a traditional streaming bundle of TV channels have come to nothing in recent years, despite rival companies like Google and Hulu announcing plans of their own.

In 2015, Apple was in talks for a streaming television service that would bundle several popular live channels and on-demand television at a price point of approximately $30 per month, but Apple canned the project after being unable to establish the necessary deals because content providers were reluctant to unbundle their channels.

The company's assertive negotiation tactics with cable providers have also been blamed, with Apple executives accused of making demands networks aren't prepared to meet. Content providers meanwhile have been reluctant to agree to Apple's terms for fear of potentially compromising their traditional revenue streams.

Apart from its TV subscription service ambitions, Apple is said to be building a "significant" business centered around creating original, scripted television shows and possibly even movies, for a possible launch by the end of 2017.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

4 weeks ago
What puzzles me is how Apple is sitting on a gold mine with the virtually complete collection of TV shows and movies they have in iTunes. They could just renegotiate those contracts and offer iTunes as a monthly subscription. It's the motherload of catalogues. They could wipe the competition clean, except for Netflix and Amazon original programming.
Rating: 22 Votes
4 weeks ago
Another story about plans that Apple has but no deals in place. Why does Eddy Cue still have a job?
[doublepost=1491173887][/doublepost]

What puzzles me is how Apple is sitting on a gold mine with the virtually complete collection of TV shows and movies they have in iTunes. They could just renegotiate those contracts and offer iTunes as a monthly subscription. It's the motherload of catalogues. They could wipe the competition clean, except for Netflix and Amazon original programming.

Can you imagine what that would cost???
Rating: 12 Votes
4 weeks ago
All these companies are seemingly hellbent on recreating the failing cable TV business model...
Rating: 11 Votes
4 weeks ago
Bundle = cord and I cut the cord. So how is paying for a "bundle" of garbage channels different just because it's delivered over the internet? No thanks.
Rating: 9 Votes
4 weeks ago

I would hands down pay for this.

Yeah, you would be giving your hands, and maybe an arm and a leg... so you would pay $30/mo for this *new* Apple plan, plus $9.95 for that, plus $8.95/mo for that, plus $19.99/mo for that....... paying for all these services just to get half the channels you really want.... stick with the bundle dude.... it's cheaper.

All you are doing is paying more money to more companies to get the keys to the walled gardens. And you end up paying more than you would because ISPs are going to up their prices for stand alone internet access, then reduce big time bundled packages with TV and internet.

We are just chasing different methods to pay the same (or more) to the greedy media companies. Just different ways for them to get our money, just thinly disguised as the future.

Now, if there were an open standard where all channels could submit their content, and we can purchase just what we want, well that would be the future of media. As it stands now, these are all just bundles and junior bundles and light bundles, but bundles none the less.
Rating: 8 Votes
4 weeks ago
Great a bundle of channels I have no interest in purchasing.
Rating: 7 Votes
4 weeks ago
Hmmm....... Apple seems to be using the word "premium" a lot (well, ok, not Apple per say but Macrumors in this case and in the case of the iPhone 8), which I find to be scary as it makes me think they'll put a massive price tag on it. Hopefully they won't do it with this nor the iPhone 8/X/6sss or what ever it will be called.
Rating: 6 Votes
4 weeks ago

The magic word is MAY...

So it's going to revealed in May! Gotcha!
Rating: 5 Votes
4 weeks ago
So many new Apple features are restricted to the US
Rating: 4 Votes
4 weeks ago

Agreed. There are very few programs that are not a waste of time. I really see little value in the so called "premium channels" except the lack of commercials. I'm totally not interested.


I agree. I don't get it. I guess some people still think HBO and Showtime show new movies. Guess it's the grasping at straws to salvage a few dollars out of a failing industry before it's gone forever. I think it's smart for Apple because they'll probably partner and offer a free or discounted trial, and there's no downside for Apple because it costs them nothing, yet they share in the revenue.

If only Apple put as much effort into developing quality products as they put into skimming cents on the dollar off app sales, subscription sales, and payment processing. I remember when Apple offered great laptops and desktops, routers, displays, etc... as well as amazing service in retail and online. What happened? The service model will only work as long as people stay hooked to the ecosystem with iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac... and they are losing marketshare in all of these categories, so much like the growth took several years to ramp as their product popularity gained, but in a couple years the same service revenue will wane as the popularity of their products shrinks.

Sadly Apple's ecosystem only works as a hook if a customer is 100% all in. The second someone leaves the ecosystem with even one category (laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, tv), it removes the "stickiness" of the ecosystem, since it's rendered useless with one product defection.
Rating: 3 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]