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Apple to Offer 99-Cent TV Show Rentals?


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Bloomberg reports that Apple is in advanced talks with News Corp. to let iTunes users rent TV shows for 99 cents each. Other media companies are said to also be considering the possibility.
Viewers would be able to rent programs from News Corp.’s Fox for 48 hours, said the people, who declined to be identified because discussions aren’t public. CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co., where Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is a board member and the largest shareholder, also are in talks about joining the effort, the people say.
Apple is said to be counting on video content to increase the appeal of their iOS devices such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Bloomberg also reiterates rumors that Apple is planning on launching a high-resolution iPod Touch and $99 Apple TV in the near future.

Talk of 99 cent TV show rentals has circulated before and is believed to be an alternative plan to an online subscription TV service that could not be solidified for fear of alienating cable providers.

Article Link: Apple to Offer 99-Cent TV Show Rentals?


macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2010
No brainer

I would absolutely love this. There are very few shows that I want to "buy" and the current prices are just way too high. 99 cents is an impulse buy "no brainer" and would shift some of my viewing from Hulu to iTunes. Great move.


macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2010
This would be great if you could rent them the same night as it's broadcast and without commercials!


macrumors 68040
I'd prefer that to the current model. $1.99 is too much for something I don't want to see more than once and also with buying a show I feel obligated to store it. It's hard to throw something you've bought that you could keep into the trash—at least for me.

Plus, if I buy a show or movie, I like to buy blu-ray. I know I am in the minority there, or at least going against what people say the trends are.

So, this would be appealing, especially if it were 720p at 99 cents.


macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2009
Per episode. There is no way it can be any lower. People are not going to pay that. Apple would have to get in the game of Providing content whether ala-carte or pre-determined packages.


macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
Quebec, Canada
Too expensive. Renting a show for .99$ ? Cable is just much cheaper. Heck, buying the DVDs is cheaper and leaves you owning the show for multiple viewings.

Sky Blue

Jan 8, 2005
Seems expensive for a one-off show. I'd rather pay $20-$30 a month to stream any of the available channels.


macrumors member
May 26, 2010
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
.99 cents is cheaper than the 3.99 you would have to spend now.

A monthly subscription for an unlimited service would be the only surefire way for this sort of service to do amazingly.

Apple TV is mentioned but what is it? Is it a television or another "box"? :p

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
.99 TV show rentals make Hulu Plus seem like a bargain. Think about it for $10 a month you get unlimited views of TV shows AND your subscription isn't locked to a single device. Hopefully the subscription plan is more enticing or I sense a rare Apple belly flop.


macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2002
Holland, MI
I have to agree that $0.99 is rather high. I can watch many of the same shows they will probably offer for free on hulu or fancast, just not on my iOS device. I think a subscription similar to hulu's, where you can watch whatever series and whatever episodes you want under a single monthly fee would be more appealing.


macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2008
This can be great if they offer them for rent on the same day/night they are broadcast. .........especially for someone who does not watch much TV but likes a few shows :)


macrumors 68000
Jun 21, 2002
New Zealand
Glad to see it happening. Hopefully it's available same day as the broadcast. Too expensive for me personally, but it's a start.


macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2010
Winter Park
YUCK! Too much for a TV show, well most anyway. I might subscribe to a channel like HBO or NBC for $5 a month. Or pay .99 per show if I didn't subscribe to that channel. I could get all the content I want and cancel cable and tivo and still come out of it for less $ per month than I pay now.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2006
I think it sounds pretty reasonable. Depending on how much TV you watch it could be much cheaper than cable or more expensive. I have trouble seeing Apple going the subscription route - although a $30 subscription wouldn't be bad... It would be just like buying 30 tv shows a month.

I think this would be GREAT when combined with hulu - I could just use hulu to watch all the latest shows and buy some ala carte stuff for things that aren't on hulu. I mean - the main shows I watch are the main abc/nbc/fox primetime shows which are already free on hulu the day after airing.

If there's a hulu and netflix app for this thing (which I'm SURE there will be) combined with Apple's offering for other programming it would be great!!

But as far as using ONLY this for consuming TV content, I'm kind of on the fence. If you watch more than 1 TV show per day it doesn't really make it any cheaper than cable.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2006
.99 TV show rentals make Hulu Plus seem like a bargain. Think about it for $10 a month you get unlimited views of TV shows AND your subscription isn't locked to a single device. Hopefully the subscription plan is more enticing or I sense a rare Apple belly flop.

I'm sure the iTV shows will not be locked to the device. When you rent a TV show you will be able to watch it on your iTV, iPad, iPhone or on your computer with iTunes for 48 hours, of course.


macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
Nice Steve :) Now can we extend the movie rentals to at least 48 hours??? :( 72 hours would be ideal!

I am VERY excited for the new Apple TV :D If it is really $99.00 I will be SOLD instantly!

I am very excited for the interaction between the new Apple TV and the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad! There are some REALLY COOL things they could do with that. Yes games, interactive media... How about FaceTime? What..... no camera in the Apple TV box? NO PROBLEM, just hold up your iPhone 4/ iPod Touch 4/ or iPad 2 that have cameras and the video conversation is displayed up on your TV while you hold the iDevice like a mobile camera :D I really hope they get that feature in the mix!!! :cool:


macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
It sounds expensive, but for people who only occasionally watch TV it would beat paying for cable. You just have to add up all the shows you watch at .99/per and compare it to your cable bill. I think for a lot of people it will make sense.


macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2010
Minneapolis, MN
No Thanks Apple

No thanks...don't need the Faux News lie machine on my ipad or anywhere! I've deleted it from my cable TV. And certainly don't need to make Murdoch any richer!


macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2007
meh not interested. Sorry, but if they cant come up with a subscription streaming service similar to Netflix then this isnt going to change things in Apple TV land. Kevin Rose seems to think this thing is going to be HUGE, but if its still a pay-per-episode deal its not going to be very appealing. Just my .02


macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2007
woah! that's far too expensive. One show a day for month and i should've just subscribed to btvision for 14.99. oh wait....i do! Try again Apple.


macrumors member
Feb 9, 2010
Sounds like an awful go-to-market plan.

The general TV media-consuming public is accustomed to paying a monthly rate for a number of channels (via cable), a monthly rate for a large number of movie rentals/streams (via Netflix), or nothing to steam a somewhat limited library of sponsor-suppored content.

Asking viewers to give up that habit for a la carte [and presumably non-1080i] TV show rentals is ludicrous - You're not bringing any value to the table... You could make the argument that the only people you're really servicing are people who have an internet connection, but no cable - and a desire to view shows from their couch instead of a laptop.

Unfortunately... I think the cards could be stacked against Apple when it comes to making iTV everything it could be. The networks would have to turn their backs on the cable companies - For the moment it's hard to see how they'd be motivated to do this.

I see how iTV can be a great platform - but at the same time - it's hard to see how Apple could also be the gatekeeper through iTunes. I hope they don't screw this up again, but for the time being it's NetFlix and Hulu bringing value to video consumers, not Apple - and it's hard to foresee that changing with iTV,
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