Apple’s wants to offer television services, and it’s now trying to sign on premium television providers to help it do that, according to a new report.
The iPhone maker is holding discussions with Time Warner’s (TWX) HBO, CBS (CBS)-owned Showtime, and Lionsgate’s Starz to sell access to their services in a single bundle, Recode is reporting, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of its plans. Apple already sells subscriptions to each of the entertainment channels, but apparently wants to bundle them as part of a broader effort to become a cable TV competitor.
Over the last couple of years, reports have surfaced, suggesting Apple (AAPL) has held discussions with TV networks about the possibility of creating a television-streaming service for its Apple TV set-top box. Those discussions have reportedly broken down.
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While Apple hasn’t commented on its plans for the television, the company last year unveiled a new feature in tvOS, the operating system for its Apple TV, called, simply, TV. It acts as a central hub where Apple TV users can see available programming and access content from several different services, including HBO and Showtime.
Still, TV doesn’t necessarily match what Apple reportedly hopes to achieve with television content. The TV app is little more than a gateway to get to content housed elsewhere. According to several recent reports, including the Recode report on Monday, Apple would like to deliver an alternative to cable TV provider services and offer access to programming through a service of its own.
A possible bundle with HBO, Showtime, and Starz content could get Apple one step closer to achieving that and challenging cable and satellite providers.
Traditional TV providers offer access to premium television in bundles, but they typically only offer it when customers have signed up for more than the basic level of channels. Apple wants to deliver content to customers without requiring them to have any other subscriptions, according to Recode. And it would deliver that programming across its many devices, including the iPhone and Apple TV.
It’s unknown what Apple might charge for the premium bundle and how the companies would share revenue. However, Apple currently sells standalone subscriptions to HBO for $15 a month, and charges $11 per month and $9 per month for access to Showtime and Starz, respectively.
Apple did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the Recode report.