TV studios speak out against Apple TV’s pricing

1 Oct 2010

Many TV studios are wary of Apple’s 99-cent rental model for Apple TV, with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes saying the price “jeopardises” sales by the networks.

Apple TV has been finding problems with convincing studios to join up because of its low price.

ABC and Disney are on board, possibly due to the fact that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder in Disney, ABC’s parent company.

Fox and BBC have also signed up for it. However, other companies are sceptical.

“How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents an episode and thereby jeopardise the sale of the same shows as a series to branded networks that pay hundreds of millions of dollars and make those shows available to loyal viewers for free?” said Bewkes during a Royal Television Conference in London.

Other studio heads have previously spoken out against Apple’s pricing model.

NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker believed the pricing “devalues” his network’s efforts.

“We do not think 99 cents is the right price point,” Zucker said at a Goldman Sachs investor conference.

Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman also believed that pricing TV shows the same as other digital content, such as music, was “not good.”

“We don’t think Apple has it quite right yet,” said Dauman.