Apple is in “advanced talks” with News Corp. to let iTunes users rent TV shows for US$0.99 cents and is in discussions with other media companies about similar deals, three people “familiar with the plan” told “Bloomberg” (http://macosg.me/2/rj).
Purportedly, viewers would be able to rent programs from News Corp.’s Fox for 48 hours, said the people (“who declined to be identified because discussions aren’t public”), the article adds. CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co., where Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a board member and the largest shareholder, also are in talks about joining the effort, says “Bloomberg.”
The article says Apple is counting on video content to increase the appeal of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The a la carte rental plan follows an abandoned effort to create a subscription television service and goes along with the rumored Apple TV revamp. Media companies didn’t want to endanger revenue from cable providers such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, adds “Bloomberg.”
Recent rumors says Apple is planning an US$99 version of the Apple TV — which will reportedly be redubbed the “iTV — that will be similarly sized and packed with internals akin to that of the iPhone 4 (A4 CPU, 16GB of flash storage), and will introduce new iTunes streaming services the box could take advantage of. Also, per most reports, the box won’t be capable of handling (or enabled to handle) 1080i or 1080p video.