Here are two of the more interesting Apple rumours flying around the internet today: Apple are reportedly in talks with networks in the US over bringing 99 cent TV rentals to iTunes according to Bloomberg. Apparently, this deal stretches out to News Corp’s Fox Network, CBS, NBC and Walt Disney, where Steve Jobs is a shareholder.
This means that shows such as Chuck (NBC), Fringe (Fox), and Two and a Half Men (CBS) will be available for rental in the US “within 24 hours” of being aired. For US users, being able to rent an episode for just 99¢ (around 64p) would be great for devices such as the iPad when users are on the go. Like current TV purchases from the iTunes store, the episodes will be free of commercials, although I for one wouldn’t mind seeing a super cheap option with ad-support, but maybe I’m just crazy.
Apple TV / iTV
As you’ve undoubtedly already heard, there has also been a very strong rumour lately that Apple will release an updated, $99 version of the Apple TV, possibly renamed iTV. As I reported, to my dismay, this new device is said not to include support for 1080p content, and instead focus on streaming content from the internet. This fits in really well with this latest rumour about 99¢ TV rentals, as the new model is said to use the same storage technology as the iPhone and iPad, which seriously limits its capacity.
This is all well and good for our friends across the Atlantic, but what does this mean for the UK? For those of us over here lucky enough to have US iTunes accounts, it means we can rent all the TV we need to watch on the go. For those not so lucky, don’t be too disheartened yet, because Apple are clearly taking the TV rentals seriously, and it may mean that the deal will stretch overseas too. This means that when the latest episode of your favourite show airs over here in the UK, you may be able to download it from the UK iTunes store within 24 hours, similar to how you can currently buy TV episodes from the store.
The key here isn’t what channel the show airs on in the UK, it’s what broadcasting company creates it in the US. Regardless of whether Chuck aired on Virgin1 or BBC in the UK, it would still be licensed by Warner Bros. in the US, so as long as Apple strikes a deal there, we’ll be able to rent them as they air here.
The last piece of the puzzle here is when we are actually going to see the new Apple TV, and when we are going to see TV rentals on iTunes. According to the source, Apple plans on holding an event on September 7th to unveil the brand new Apple TV alongside the yearly iPod refresh that we’ve come accustomed to seeing.
If this particular date is confirmed, we will bring you all the details on Zath, and will of course be covering any Apple event that is going on in the coming weeks or months. Excited? Yeah, so are we!