Apple online TV service gaining momentum

Apple made news last month when word leaked it was shopping an online TV subscription service to network execs with a $30-a-month price tag. Well, rumors say at least a couple of big networks are showing interest in the plan.

The New York Times says ABC -- owned by the Walt Disney Company, which counts Steve Jobs as a board member and carries with it two additional channels, ABC Family and the Disney Channel -- and CBS (which also owns the CW Network) have expressed tentative interest, adding that talks were in their nascent stages.

New Corporation (Fox) and Turner Broadcasting (CNN and TNT) are looking at the offer with jaundiced eyes. The two -- and several others -- obviously are worried a deal with Apple could upset the precarious business model broadcasters currently embrace, bundled subscription services that sell for a premium.

Apple already offers some 50,000 episodes from networks on iTunes for between 99 cents and $2.99 per episode, with ABC and CBS shows having the biggest draw. Apple has been selling shows through iTunes for four years. It was the first online service to offer single episodes for downloads. The new model would allow users to buy episodes through Apple TV. Apple currently allows users to purchase full seasons of a show for download later.

For more:
- see this Times story

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