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Apple Inc. has been exploring opportunities to strengthen its upstart TV service, including deals for James Bond franchise-owner MGM Holdings Inc. and college sports rights, according to people familiar with the matter.
Executives at Apple met with representatives of MGM and the Pac-12 Conference this year as the tech giant considers ways to broaden the appeal of its Apple TV app and TV+, a $4.99 monthly service that launched last month with nine original programs. The streaming service anchors an updated TV app that offers subscriptions to Disney+ and HBO, with Apple getting a cut of sales.
Though the conversations with MGM and the Pac-12 were preliminary and have yet to reach an advanced stage, the talks show Apple’s openness to striking a multibillion-dollar content agreement in support of its TV service—even as it forges ahead with a preferred strategy of developing its own shows, these people said. A deal with the Pac-12 would be Apple’s first foray into live sports.