Apple floats iTunes TV series rental suggestion to networks

Apple hasn't forgotten its iTunes service even as it pushes forward with what it would like to call iTV. In fact, just the opposite, Apple has reportedly been in talks with TV networks about renting TV series through iTunes for 99 cents (which still may be overpriced considering some of the stuff networks carry).

Anyway, sources all over the place, including The New York Times report that Fox parent News Corp. and ABC owner Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), a player currently in a nasty retransmission struggle with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI), are close to iTunes deals. Other networks, including soon-to-be Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) NBC Universal were a bit more cautious but "apparently have not ruled out a rental deal at some point.

Everyone, of course, declined to comment--even, if might be emphasized, to The New York Times. For historical perspective, iTunes currently sells TV episodes for $1.99-$2.99 and rents movies.

Meanwhile, there's reason to watch this whole space because it could affect cable programming packages if the rentals are perceived as a la carte (and there's that bad word again) programming. Cable resists a la carte and could hold back at least some of its programming from such a deal. Broadcasters, eager to make a buck (or 99 cents) anywhere they can, are less reticent.

For more:
- see this New York Times story
- and this Washington Post story
- has this blog post

Related articles:
Apple tuning in 99-cent iTunes TV show rentals
Analyst: Apple TV set, cloud-based iTV on the way
Apple, networks look at $1 TV episode pricing on iTunes


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