CBS to Offer $1 TV Shows On iTunes

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CBS looks to be ready to start selling at least some TV shows through the iTunes Store for US$0.99, or half the current price networks are charging. The move is part of an experiment to see if sales increase, although networks are skeptical at the likelihood of success, according to the New York Times.

"We're willing to try anything, but the key word is 'try,' " commented one anonymous TV network executive.

Presumably, the networks will be open to keeping TV show prices lower at the iTunes Store if customers start buying more, although for now it appears that only standard definition quality shows will see a price cut. HD versions of TV shows will stay priced at $2.99 each.

Not everyone, however, plans to keep show prices lower. PBS, for example, is offering several shows for $0.99 right now, but plans to bump the prices back up to $1.99 in three week. PBS senior vice president Andrew Russell said their price reductions were an experiment to "generate buzz."

While CBS has committed to selling shows for under a dollar, it hasn't decided yet which ones will see the price cuts.

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I might, MIGHT be willing to pay 99? for some of the CBS shows I like, and may have missed - The Mentalist, The Good Wife, etc., because CBS doesn’t allow their stuff to show up on Hulu or even on their own website, until the episodes are very old.  But if CBS or anyone else thinks they’re getting $2 out of anybody, but the most crazed fan, they’re nuts!


99 cents is much more reasonable.  $2.99 an episode translates to over $60 to watch the season - that’s outrageously expensive, since places like FYE routinely run sales on their DVDs for as low as $20.  So my price point is $20 for a season - heck, Wal-Mart and Target have bottomed out their older TV shows to $14.97!
At 99 cents an episode, I’ll probably start picking up episodes of The Mentalist and NCIS.  But $2.99 is just too rich for my blood.

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