Apple may be prepping $30-a-month TV service


— 3:01 PM on November 2, 2009

How would you feel about ditching your cable TV subscription and paying Apple for the same service, instead? Judging by a story by All Things Digital blogger Peter Kafka, you might actually face that choice in the not-so-distant future.

The post quotes "multiple sources" as saying Apple has been pitching a $30-a-month iTunes TV service to networks. Rather than being tied to the Apple TV device (and turning it into a glorified cable box), the service would essentially be "an extension of [the] iTunes software and store." That could allow users to watch shows on the iPhone and other Apple devices—perhaps even that rumored tablet.

Apple reportedly intends to launch the service "early next year," but Kafka isn't convinced the iPod maker can pull it off. He says that, to his knowledge, no cable programmer has committed just yet. And getting support may be trickier than it sounds, since networks might not want to compromise their relationships with cable providers.

You can already download TV shows on iTunes, of course, but Apple sells them individually. You can buy season passes so that iTunes automatically grabs new episodes as they become available, but in either case, shows typically don't hit the iTunes Store until the day after they've aired.

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