Apple TV Channels FAQ: Apple offers CBS All Access + Showtime bundle to TV+ subscribers

When Apple released iOS 12.3, it refreshed the TV app and added a feature called Apple TV Channels. Channels lets you subscribe to third-party streaming services like CBS All Access or HBO, right from within the TV app. You can watch that content in the TV app, served directly from Apple, without the need to install other apps.

Here’s everything you need to know about which services are available as Apple TV Channels, what they cost, and how they work.

Updated 08/17/20: Apple has started offering a bundle of CBS All Access and Showtime Channels for $9.99 per month, if you already subscribe to Apple TV+.

How do I get Apple TV Channels?

To get Channels, your iPhone or iPad needs to run iOS 12.3 or later, and your Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K needs to run tvOS 12.3 or later. The TV app is also available in macOS Catalina, some new smart TVs, and on Roku and certain Fire TV devices.

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Update to iOS 12.3 or tvOS 12.3, and you’ll see a list of Channels in the TV app.

How do I subscribe to a Channel?

This part is easy. In the TV app on your iOS device or Apple TV, just scroll down in the main Watch Now tab—a list of channels should be prominently displayed. Most will have a button that says “Try it Free.” Selecting this brings up an in-app-purchase approval screen showing the length of the trial (usually one week) and the recurring subscription price after the trial is over.

When you’re browsing a Channel’s content (see below), you’ll be presented with Try it Free buttons on shows and movies, too.

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Subscribing to Channels is fast and easy, and you don’t have to install any other apps.

How does playback work?

Once you’re subscribed to Channel, you’ll see shows and movies recommended directly in your Watch Now tab. 

As you scroll down in the Watch Now tab, you’ll also see a horizontal list of Channels represented as circular icons. Select one and you’ll see everything available on that Channel (whether you subscribe to it or not).