Apple proposes to sell HBO, Showtime and Starz in a single bundle

Posted April 04, 2017

While the company already offers these three services via the Apple TV, they are now only available as "a la carte" offerings.

While Apple already sells the three channels individually to customers that stream them on the iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs, this sort of bundling really has never been done by a streaming-only service. However, there is a subtle difference - conventional TV operators require the consumers to subscribe to all the basic and free channels before offering premium packages to choose from. Recode said it's unclear how much the iPhone maker might charge subscribers for a bundle containing all three streaming networks. Eddy Cue, Apple's media boss, has mentioned traditional TV networks are not willing to make the concerns he wants to sell to TV package.

Apple is in early talks with reps from the Time Warner-owned HBO, CBS-owned Showtime, and Lionsgate-owned Starz, but no one is commenting on the record about the potential of a premium Apple TV-exclusive bundle. It's a segment is already crowded with services like Dish's Sling, AT&T's DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue, and FuboTV; services from Hulu and YouTube are set to come in the next few months, and now Verizon is expected roll out a virtual TV service this summer.

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At present, Apple sells HBO for $15 per month, Showtime for $11 per month, and Starz for $9 a month.

Apple recently hired Timothy Twerdhal, former chief of Amazon's Fire TV, to oversee the Apple TV's marketing, which means former Apple TV marketing head Pete Distad can work on Apple's TV deals. The main question would be the price and the percentage of revenue the network owners would want. Starz, Showtime, and HBO all sell subscriptions through their mobile apps, at cost of $8.99, $10.99, and $14.99. Apple would change that and allow consumers to directly pay for the bundle without having customers pay for other packages.