Thursday, February 18, 2010, 03:20 pm PT (06:20 pm ET)
CBS plans to reduce prices to $1 on some iTunes TV episodesApple's push for 99 cent TV shows to coincide with the launch of the iPad has garnered support from at least one content provider, with the network CBS reportedly interested in reducing prices for some shows.
According to MediaMemo, CBS CEO Les Moonves said Thursday that his network would reduce prices on some of its shows to 99 cents, down from the standard price of $1.99. The news follows a report from last week that indicated Apple was looking to test a $1-per-TV-episode program when the iPad launches in late March.
He said that "certain shows" would be priced at 99 cents, but didn't give any specifics. He added that the details have not yet been worked out.
That report said some networks had already agreed to lower prices, but didn't name any specifically. Moonves' comments mark the first major U.S. network to confirm participation with the new pricing structure.
"Its possible that Moonves doesnt plan to make any significant concessions on pricing CBS, like other networks, already offers some older shows, or new shows it wants to promote, at discount prices," the report said. "But the context of Moonves comments, which came during the companys earnings call today, indicated that he was planning on changing his pricing structure on more than a one-off basis."
In addition to CBS, another likely candidate would be ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Corp., of which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder. Last week the CEO of Disney praised the iPad and its potential for multimedia content, including interactive TV shows. Bob Iger singled out the popular ABC show "Lost" and said a forthcoming iPad edition would provide an interactive version of the program.
Earlier reports suggested Apple was looking to push a subscription TV plan to coincide with the iPad launch. Both Disney and CBS showed early interest, but talks reportedly stalled in January when executives from major networks did not show interest in either subscriptions or 99 cent episodes.
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