Apple again looking to provide a TV bundle for cord-cutters – and here’s what it might look like

Apple’s TV ambitions have varied wildly over the years following the launch of its set-top TV box. From manufacturing its own set, to starting a production studio, to offering a premium bundle of TV channels for subscribers.

Well, it looks like the latter might now be getting some more attention, after talks with channels previously stumbled over payments.

However, considering over the last few years outfits like Hulu and YouTube have managed to make subscription packages work, it’s not really surprising to hear Apple hasn’t given up either. Like music streaming, like augmented reality, like, even, OLED panels; Apple might not be first to the party, but you can bet it’s still preparing a pretty great gift until it gets there.

Related: More evidence that Apple is testing a 4k, fifth-generation TV

And now, according to a report from Recode, Apple has a new proposal for potential cord-cutters looking to do away with traditional cable. Its plan is to combine three popular premium channels into one bundled package.

What are those channels? HBO, Showtime and Starz. While Apple sells these channels individually via apps, its reportedly approached the three companies to explore the possibility of selling them as one overall package – presumably at a reduced rate – in what could be seen as a more traditional approach to offering premium channels in a package.

Of course, the difference is, subscribers wouldn’t necessarily have to pay more for channels they wouldn’t use – like traditional cable, which requires the purchase of a larger number of channels to gain access to premium output like HBO.

Streaming services

ReCode doesn’t cite sources, not even unnamed ones for the detail, though it does write that industry sources say Apple doesn’t have a deal in place yet, and when the site approached the channels for comment, none of the three provided one.

It still seems apparent that Apple has lost interest in providing a full streaming service or a more traditional bundle, but these smaller packages might be the compromise the company is making to bring premium TV output to more users.

HBO currently costs $15 via Apple, Showtime costs $11 and Starz is priced at $9 a month. It’s fair to presume Apple will seek to offer the three channels for a rate less than that sum. However, what the acceptable concession will be between Apple and the TV channels is a tough nut to crack. Talks might well fall through once more…

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