The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been moving forward with their plan to offer monthly television subscriptions through iTunes. Peter Kafka of All Things Digital first wrote about such a service back in November.
The service would give subscribers access to some TV shows from a selection of networks for a monthly fee. The Wall Street Journal is unaware as to whether or not any networks have signed on, but CBS and Disney are said to be interested in the service. Apple could have a hard time convincing other networks to sign on. Some versions of the deal would see Apple paying media companies $2-4 a month per subscriber to larger networks like CBS or ABC and $1-2 a month per subscriber to smaller networks. The Wall Street Journal says that even with those prices (which are often higher than what cable companies pay), News Corp., Viacom, Discovery, and Turner Broadcasting are “opposed to or leaning away from signing on, at least to Apple’s initial proposals.”
Early versions of the offer included access to advertising-free shows from top cable and broadcast networks for $30 a month. This echoes Peter Kafka’s report from November and, in my opinion, is an incredibly reasonable price (assuming users had access to a decent assortment of television shows).
Aside from the above offer there isn’t any indication as to whether or not this service would include advertising. I’m inclined to say that it wouldn’t but I’m not sure if Apple would be able to convince networks to sign on without it.
11/7/09: $30 Per Month for iTunes TV Shows