Apple Works with HBO, Showtime, and Starz to Create ‘Premium TV Bundle’

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Apple wants to sell users a ‘premium TV’ streaming bundle, complete with access to content from HBO, Showtime, and Starz, according to Recode.

While the company already offers these three services via the Apple TV, they are currently only available as ‘a la carte’ offerings. HBO, for instance, is available for $15 per month to subscribers, while Showtime and Starz, respectively, are available for $11 per month and $9 per month apiece. Presumably, what Apple is trying to accomplish in approaching these networks, is roll the trifecta of premium services up into a complete package, similar to how cable network providers offer them to customers at a monthly surcharge.

According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, the company has effectively abandoned its previous goal of launching an Apple TV-based subscription TV streaming service which would’ve been similar to Hulu, for example, or the forthcoming YouTube TV service from Google.

What’s clear, however, is that the company’s desire to get in on the subscription TV bandwagon is still alive and thriving and Eddy Cue thinks the HBO, Showtime, and Starz package would be a slam dunk for Apple — especially seeing as how the services are already being offered individually to Apple TV users.

Since cable TV operators, such as Comcast or Time Warner, typically require that customers sign up for a certain level of lower channel offerings via cable before they are given the option to add on services like HBO, Showtime, and Starz, Apple could potentially have a leg up if it’s able to work out a deal with Time Warner, CBS, and Lionsgate — the networks who own HBO, Showtime, and Starz, respectively. That’s mainly because the company’s standalone package would be offered directly via Apple TV, and possibly even iOS devices, without the need for users to have an underlying cable TV subscription if they don’t want one.

No deal has been reached as of yet, and it’s unclear how much Apple would charge for a premium bundle featuring HBO, Showtime, and Starz; furthermore, reps from Time Warner, CBS, and Lionsgate, respectively, declined when reached by Recode for comment.

Most recently, Cue noted that a streaming TV package consisting of content provided by major networks, such as NBC, FOX, ABC, etc., is likely not in the cards, seeing as how these networks are unwilling to make the concessions Apple has proposed. However, since Apple via the Apple TV already offers HBO, Showtime, and Starz as individual subscriptions, it would be much easier, more practical, and of greater cost-benefit to the end-user, if the company were able to work out a deal. Stay tuned for additional developments with this story as they arise.

Would you consider subscribing to a ‘premium TV’ package from Apple?
Let us know in the comments below!

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