Update: Although communication on this subject is still lacking, users are reporting that their grandfathered subscriptions are once again renewing correctly. So, this may have been a weird glitch after all. Original story below.
With seemingly no warning, Apple TV+ users are noticing that their grandfathered $9.99/mo Paramount+ and Showtime bundle subscriptions are now expiring.
Apple launched the 50% discounted bundle to much fanfare last year, before CBS All Access was rebranded as Paramount+. The bundle was discontinued for new subscribers in February ahead of the Paramount+ launch, but existing subscribers were able to continue taking advantage of the deal. Seemingly, no more.
Complaints from confused subscribers are racking up on forums. Official support channels appear unhelpful, although one commenter said that their Apple Support rep noted that the internal systems report the bundle subscription was set to last only a year. (If this is correct, it seems a bit misleading as the bundle was not originally advertised as a limited time deal.)
With no official word from Apple or ViacomCBS (owner of Paramount+ and Showtime), it’s unclear whether this is intentional or a weird bug. However, the unfortunate reality is the most likely explanation is that the bundle offer is coming to an end.
When available, the deal gave Apple TV+ subscribers access to Paramount+ (nee CBS All Access) and Showtime for $9.99 per month, or half the standard ad-free subscription price. Apple advertised the bundle as a “great value” in a Newsroom press release dated August 17, 2020.
Assuming that the expiring subscriptions are intended, the bundle will have lasted less than a year (and was already made unavailable in February for new sign-ups). In the same vein, HBO ended support for its deprecated Apple TV Channel last week.
In general, Apple TV Channels do not seem to have been a success for Apple. The initiative was launched in May 2019 with big names like HBO and CBS initially onboard. However, many of these Channels have since disappeared as the networks instead opted to prop up their own standalone streaming services, available as separate apps which they have full control over.
At least for now, both Paramount+ and Showtime remain available as purchasable Channels — but the bundle discount is gone.
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