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Fox, ABC agree to give Apple 99-cent TV rentals


Apple has reached an agreement with both News Corp. and Walt Disney to allow 99-cent rentals of Fox and ABC TV shows through iTunes, according to a new report.

Although some executives within the two media companies have reservations about the deal, the partnership is ready to be announced Wednesday, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal noted Tuesday that while some of the management at Fox was uncomfortable with the pricing, which could jeopardize traditional income avenues, they were willing to go along with the "experiment."

ABC is generally assumed to have been the first studio on board, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs is Disney's largest shareholder and a board member. Disney was also the first content provider to agree to sell its TV shows on iTunes in 2005.

Fox has agreed to offer broadcast shows that it "both produces and airs," such as "Glee," "Bones," and "Lie to Me."

Earlier reports claimed that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., was prepared to agree to Apple's pricing in order to help solidify a relationship with Jobs. Since Murdoch is pushing for a dedicated iPad and tablet news division, getting on Jobs' 'good side' with a TV rental agreement could benefit the news side of News Corp.'s business.

Alongside the newly priced TV show rentals, a $99 re-designed Apple TV with a focus on streaming content is expected to be announced Wednesday at Apple's media event, which begins at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, 1 p.m. Eastern.