Report: Apple & Fox Working Out Deal for 99-Cent TV Rentals

| Rumor

Apple and Fox Corp. are busily working out details for US$0.99 TV show rentals, according to a report from Bloomberg. The report said that the deal would allow users to rent TV programs for 48 hours, and that Apple was also in discussion with other TV studios and networks.

Bloomberg cited three unnamed sources “familiar with the plan,” and those sources said Apple was talking to CBS and Disney (which owns ABC), as well. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a major shareholder and board member of Disney, and the two companies have often worked together on content deals for iTunes.

“This is a smart move by everyone,” RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank told the news organization. “Something like this a la carte rental service is an incremental opportunity.”

TV shows would be available for rent within 24 hours of their original air date, and they will appear commercial-free. Bloomberg also reported that Apple would announce the service on September 7th with a (much expected and rumored) media event, and that it would use the event to announce the other hot-rumor item, the $99 Apple TV. The report did not name the device the iTV, as has been rumored elsewhere.

The report also said that the new rental service replaces Apple’s original plan for a subscription service that would have rivaled cable TV. The networks balked at upsetting the apple cart (pun intended) concerning its existing business arrangements with cable and satellite providers, and the rental service was the best way to offer cheaper TV content.



How will this fly when there are plenty of free sources (Hulu, etc.) for streaming current shows, cheap sources for streaming older shows (Netflix and Hulu+, etc.) ? not to mention brain-dead simple tools for torrents ? for those who don’t want cable, and it’s no cheaper than paying for service and a DVR box from your cable company for the same convenience?

MDN is right; if this is correct, Apple got screwed.

Lee Dronick

ow will this fly when there are plenty of free sources (Hulu, etc.) for streaming current shows

They are currently free, that could change.


I would be more than happy to pay 99 cents to rent shows without commercials.

Right now I have a couple season passes for shows I enjoy, but because the cost is a bit high it limits me on casually spending on other shows.

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