According to the New York Times, Apple is close to closing deals with the News Corporation, Fox's parent company, and the Walt Disney Company, the parent of ABC, for rentals of television episodes. Episodes would cost 99 cents per rental and would be available through the iTunes store. NBC Universal, CBS Corporation, and Time Warner are reportedly skeptical of the idea but have not ruled out the possibility.
This news comes amid wide speculation that Apple will launch a new version of the Apple TV next month. Since its launch, the Apple TV has struggled to gain traction. On several occasions, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has expressed frustration with this. With these deals in place, it may be possible to take the Apple TV out of the hobby category Jobs himself has placed it in.
Rental television episodes would add value to other Apple products as well, namely the iPad with its ability to take the episodes on the go.
This represents a shift on the part of the studios that initially rejected the proposal when Apple originally offered it in December.
If these deals manage to go through, Apple may be able to extend their reach into the living room, the only place the company has not been able to penetrate.
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