Fox, ABC On Board for 99-Cent TV Show Rentals?

Yerba Buena prep for Sept. 1, 2010
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)

The rumor mill has been churning away for weeks on the possibility of 99-cent TV show rentals via iTunes, and a new last-minute report claims that Fox and ABC are both on board for the plan.

MacRumors is reporting
that Apple will indeed be launching 99-cent TV show rentals through the iTunes Store on Wednesday, presumably with an announcement at the media event taking place at 10 am PST. The confirmation comes at the eleventh hour from The Wall Street Journal, who claims that Walt Disney-owned ABC and News Corp.-owned Fox are both set as launch partners for the service.

“As part of the Apple event Wednesday, News Corp.’s Fox and Walt Disney’s ABC networks are slated to be announced as offering 99-cent rentals of television shows through the iTunes store, according to people familiar with the matter,” the report claimed.

It appears that Fox’s participation may be limited out of the gate mostly to shows for which it owns both the production and broadcasting rights, which includes Glee, Bones and Lie to Me.

News Corp. executives are reportedly “uneasy” about Apple’s new model for TV shows, “fearing a disruption of the traditional television business.” Since iTunes debuted TV shows, they have only been available as downloads, generally priced at either .99 per episode for SD or .99 per episode for HD.

“The company ultimately agreed to go along with Apple, however, as an experiment in alternative means for delivering content to consumers and in order to win goodwill with Apple to set stage for partnerships in other digital content ventures,” the MacRumors report concluded.

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