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August 27, 2014

Apple Plans to Rent TV Shows for 99 Cents

by Chris Jordan, posted Aug 25th 2010 3:30PM
iPadIf Apple has its way, consumers will be able to rent TV shows instead of buying them on digital delivery services.

The company is in advanced negotiations with News Corporation, parent of the Fox network, and the Walt Disney Company, parent of ABC, to make the networks' shows available to rent for 99 cents each via iTunes, according to Bloomberg News. CBS, NBC Universal, parent of the NBC network, and Time Warner, parent of the TNT and TBS cable channels, were lukewarm about the the idea but had not ruled out participating in the plan.

Currently, consumers can buy TV shows on iTunes for $1.99 and $2.99 an episode. The thinking is that the service will enhance the company's Apple TV and iPad products. As for the networks, they've historically been concerned about low rental prices biting into sales of DVDs and episodes on iTunes and Amazon.com.

The move by Apple is seen as a maneuver to fend off rivals such as Netflix and Hulu in the TV distribution business. The content would be available online within 24 hours after airing and would be available to renters for 48 hours after purchase. It's not clear if commercials will be included in the deal or not.

Apple plans to have a big roll-out event in San Francisco on Sept. 7, although it has not been announced what product or products will be featured.

How do you feel about renting your favorite TV shows?
Yes, I would like to rent TV shows for a fee.34 (34.7%)
No, I would rather watch TV shows for free on my TV, commercials and all.14 (14.3%)
Three words, D.V.R.50 (51.0%)

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4 Comments

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Gordy

Please be true. We'll find out September 1st. I'd love to fire Comcast!

August 26 2010 at 8:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

I'd be willing to do this, especially if iTunes will start streaming the shows rather than making me download it. Even with a fast connection, they're often too large.

August 25 2010 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

The vast majority of people won't completely cancel their cable as a result of being able to rent TV shows. But, it could lead a large number of TV addicts to significantly lower their cable packages to the basic offerings.

That said, the shows on the big 4 broadcast networks are not as important in terms of being available on whatever service (iTV, Hulu, Netflix) as niche market shows that are available on premium cable channels. Whichever of the entrants into online streaming/renting can somehow get the rights to shows on HBO/Showtime/FX/Starz/TNT etc etc. will be the one that ends up getting a stranglehold on the market and actually putting a significant dent in the power cable companies have.

August 25 2010 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paul's comment
totalvideoconverter

:) Glad to hear it:"The move by Apple is seen as a maneuver to fend off rivals such as Netflix and Hulu in the TV distribution business. The content would be available online within 24 hours after airing and would be available to renters for 48 hours after purchase. It's not clear if commercials will be included in the deal or not."

August 25 2010 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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