Apple Negotiating For 99˘ TV Shows on iTV
According to a report on the Bloomberg news service
, Apple is in “advanced talks” with Walt Disney, News Corp., NBC and CBS about ad-free 99-cent TV episode rentals for use with an updated Apple TV device. Bloomberg is also claiming that Apple will be holding an event on September 7 [UPDATED: AppleInsider and other media outlets have received invitations for the event, which will be held next Wednesday rather than on the 7th]
that is expected to feature a next-generation iPod Touch and an iOS-based Apple TV device, but that negotiations with NBC and CBS may not be complete by then.
The iTunes Store is currently selling TV show downloads for $1.99 and $2.99 per episode. Previous rumored negotiations to set up an "all-you-can-eat" subscription service were said to have broken down. As a result, according to "three people familiar with the plan" cited by Bloomberg, Apple entered negotiations with News Corp's Fox network to stream TV show rentals to customers, similar to services provided by Netflix and Hulu. CBS, NBC, and ABC parent company Walt Disney (where Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder) are also said to be in talks about providing content to iTunes.
These deals could boost sales of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch as well as build up interest for a long-rumored refresh of the Apple TV set-top box. Steve Jobs has long called Apple TV a "hobby" without a real business model. “The problem with innovation in the television industry is the go-to-market strategy,” Jobs said earlier this year, adding "no one is willing to buy a set-top box." An increasing number of reports
referring to an IOS-based Apple TV called iTV have indicated that the set-top box would cost $99
and be able to play App Store games in addition to video content, which may provide the "go-to-market strategy" Jobs claimed was lacking.