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Friday, November 04, 2005, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

CBS in talks with Apple over video content distribution

CBS Digital has been in talks with Apple Computer over the prospect of making its video content and television programs available for download from the iTunes Music Store, CBS Digital President Larry Kramer said this week.

The broadcast network on Wednesday unveiled plans to distribute three episodes of prime-time sci-fi series "Threshold" via the CBS.com website while it continues to weigh other distribution options.

In an online report on Thursday, Kramer is quoted as saying a partnership with Apple is a strong possibility as long as the "economic proposal is fair enough."

Apple has already struck a deal with rival network ABC, where it sells episodes of five of ABC's premiere shows, including "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," through the iTunes store for $1.99 each.

While CBS Digital continues to mull over its next move, Kramer said his network's top priorities include "continuing to establish CBS.com as an online destination, moving more original content online, and aggressively building an audience through communities with mutually shared interests in CBS's programming."

Current negotiations aside, CBS has otherwise shown interest in jumping on the iTunes Music Store bandwagon. Following the release of Apple's fifth-generation video iPod, the network began offering free podcasts, from "60 Minutes" to "Guiding Light," on the iTunes store, possibly as an indication of things to come.

Last week Apple announced that iTunes store customers have downloaded over one million videos since they debuted on October 12.