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Apple said to have talked with Pac-12 and MGM around Apple TV

The tech giant held the talks as a way to broaden appeal of its Apple TV app and Apple TV Plus subscription service, says a report.

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Apple is pushing hard to make Apple TV a success.

James Bond already has a license to kill, now he may soon get a license to subscribe -- to Apple TV Plus.

Apple held preliminary talks with Bond series maker MGM and college sports giant the Pac-12 this year, according to a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal. The talks were part of an effort to broaden the appeal of its Apple TV app and $4.99 per month Apple TV Plus subscription service, the Journal said.

Spokespeople for Apple, MGM and the Pac-12 declined to comment.

The talks could indicate Apple's interest in expanding from its strategy of offering original shows for its Apple TV Plus streaming service, which launched earlier this year with less than a dozen shows, and promises documentaries and other content from the likes of Oprah. The company could also be considering expansion into live sports. It's unclear though whether either of these deals would be for more involvement with the Apple TV app or inclusion in the Apple TV streaming service.

Apple has been pushing its way into subscription services this year, expanding from its $9.99 per month Apple Music service and iCloud photo and data storage to a suite of entertainment offerings.

In March, Apple began taking signups for its $9.99 per month Apple News Plus service, offering access to more than 300 publications, including the Journal. In September, it turned on Apple Arcade, a video game subscription service offering more than 100 titles, ranging from gory action adventure to family-friendly. And this summer it began offering a branded credit card, in conjunction with Goldman Sachs, with cash-back incentives to buy from Apple, too.

Apple TV Plus isn't the only subscription video service though. The company's going up against all manner of new competitors, including Disney Plus, which features Star Wars, Marvel and Disney videos, the forthcoming HBO Max headlined by Westworld, Game of Thrones and Sesame Street, and CBS All Access, which includes shows from the Star Trek universe and, like CNET, is owned by ViacomCBS.

First published Dec. 19 at 11:36 a.m. PT.
Update, 2:22 p.m. PT: Adds that Apple and MGM declined to comment.