Apple plots TV rental service
Apple is reportedly in talks with US television studios to offer TV show rentals through iTunes, and plans to slash the prices of its Apple TV device in an effort to stay competitive in the television market.
Sources close to the negotiations told FT.com that Apple was planning to debut 48-hour rentals of TV shows.
Fox has already signed on to the project, some sources said, while others such as NBC and Walt Disney Co are also in talks.
But CBS and Time Warner have apparently been resistant to the show rental concept, fearful that the move could eat into profits rather than augment them.
Apple plans to make episodes available commercial-free within 24 hours of being shown on TV.
Its underperforming Apple TV set top box is also set for an overhaul, the sources said, with a $99 (€78) version of the device featuring a smaller hard drive in the pipeline.
Apple TV - which allows content streaming from iTunes, YouTube and other internet content - was launched three years ago but has not repeated the success of Apple's other consumer devices.
The firm is feeling the heat of competition from television content rivals such as streaming services Hulu and Netflix, according to the sources, and hopes the rental project will help it compete.