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Apple looking at channel bundles to make its breakthrough into pay TV big leagues

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Apple's ambitions in the pay TV space have been long-running and fraught with false starts. From establishing its own cable network to building its own streaming service, it's never managed to pin down the deals it has wanted to bolster its Apple TV box.

Now it seems the Cupertino company is ready to take a different tack. According to Re/code (opens in new tab), it's now looking into bundling channels together under one single monthly fee.

The likes of HBO, Showtime and Starz could all be bundled together into on package, which Apple hopes will lure viewers put off by its current individual channel offerings.

Negotiating table

It's a compromise on Apple's alleged earlier ambitions, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a sure thing for Apple. Where competitors like Google and Sony have been happy to bend to the networks' will to get TV offerings off the ground, Apple's desire for control means lots of negotiation will be required.

For starters, there's the issue of price. The three channels listed above currently sell through Apple for a collective $35 monthly fee stateside – any bundle would have to come in far lower to be tempting, which will mean either Apple or the networks will have to accept a substantial revenue hit per customer.

Apple will be banking on the convenience and price point bringing scale to its TV offering, and therefore much larger revenues to split. But with Apple's patchy TV track record, expect a hard fight before this becomes a reality.

Gerald is the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Based out of TechRadar Towers, London, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.

Gerald dreams of the day when he can pop on a VR headset and meet Lawnmower Man-era Pierce Brosnan. Sadly, Pierce doesn't share the dream.