CBS is prepared to sell some of its shows through iTunes for 99 cents,
though which shows and how many episodes of each is yet to be
determined, according to reports. The Financial Times quoted CBS CEO Les Moonves as confirming the price, though another CBS source said no deal was imminent.
The move is a continuing progression of television
content moving online, whether through live streaming, free portals such as Hulu and a la carte pricing.
CBS already has joined in the TV Everywhere
initiative, with its core network and several other channels, including
The CW and Showtime, working with cable companies to put their content
online free to paid subscribers of cable provider Comcast and others. It also joined in the AT&T Entertainment
effort, which allows users to view content from a variety of networks
for free - and you don't have to be an AT&T customer to access the
The pending agreement with iTunes could come in time
for the launch of the iPad
whose 4:3 aspect ratio perfect for standard-def television viewing.
Shows in high definition, which are broadcast in a 16:9 aspect ratio
would show those pesky black bars across the top of the screen above
and below the video. No date has been announced for the iPad's official launch
, though Apple's website says they should be available in "late March."
no word whether the shows sold through iTunes would also be allowed to
carry ads. Networks had been fighting the 99 cent price, saying it was
too low, but if they can carry advertising, that may make it more
To this point, the biggest source of legal online network content so far has been Hulu
which allows a certain number of ad breaks varying in length throughout
each broadcast. Of course, NBC Universal is one of the major partners
in Hulu, and Comcast has made a successful bid for the entertainment
giant - though regulators have yet to rule on the legality of that deal.
the iTunes 99 cent purchase price as the latest effort by traditional
television content providers to figure out how to make money on this
here Internet thingy.