Apple TV could package HBO, Showtime and Starz as a bundle

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tvOS just got another new update.
Apple wants to offer TV bundles.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly has a new plan for selling TV, with the goal of selling customers a premium TV bundle, grouping together HBO, Showtime, and Starz.

Although Apple TV already offers these channels on their own, bundling them together as part of a package would take Apple one step closer to its goal of being a serious TV player — and making Apple TV a bit more appealing in the process.

At present, Apple sells HBO for $15 per month, Showtime for $11 per month, and Starz for $9 a month. It’s not yet known what kind of deal Apple is looking to strike by packaging them together — or how much they would be priced at for consumers.

The company previously ran into problems selling TV packages because traditional television networks didn’t want to make the kind of concessions Apple was after. However, since HBO, Showtime and Starz are all networks Apple distributes, bundling them together may prove less painful.

According to a report last year, Eddy Cue angered TV execs at companies like Disney and Time Warner during their negotiations. “Apple’s Mr. Cue arrived 10 minutes late and was wearing jeans, tennis shoes with no socks, and a Hawaiian shirt. The other executives were wearing suits,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Apple wanted full on-demand seasons of hit shows and rights to a vast, cloud-based digital video recorder that would automatically store top programs and allow ad-skipping in newly aired shows.”

Something needs to change

Despite Apple’s history with multimedia and negotiating big deals with entertainment companies, Apple TV has thus far failed to deliver as promised. Recent data from eMarketer suggested that Apple is currently “at the bottom of the U.S. connected TV market, behind Google Chromecast and Roku, with its share shrinking.”

It has failed to become the game platform many of us were optimistic about, and while Apple is reportedly upping its focus on introducing original Netflix-style TV programming, these shows are intended more as Apple Music add-ons, rather than as something designed to sell the Apple TV.

Would TV bundles make Apple TV more enticing to you? Leave your comments below.

Source: Recode