Time Warner: Apple’s 99-Cent Plan ‘Jeopardizes’ TV Network Sales

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Apple appears to face an up-hill battle convincing studios of the wisdom of the Cupertino, Calif. company’s plans to rent tv episodes for 99 cents. Time Warner’s CEO became the latest to speak out against the proposal, saying it ‘jeopardizes’ sales by the networks.

“How can you justify renting your first-run TV shows individually for 99 cents and episode and thereby jeopardizing 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,” Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said during the London-based Royal Television Conference.


Only last week, then NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker said Apple’s plan “devalues” his network’s efforts. “We do not think 99 cents is the right price point,” he told those attending a Goldman Sachs investor conference. At the same gathering, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said pricing tv episodes on par with other Apple digital items, such as music, was “not good.” The media executive added: “We don’t think Apple has it quite right yet.” As we pointed out at the time, NBC’s objections are somewhat curious, given the network already sells television episodes on Apple’s iTunes for $1.99 a pop.

Who is for the Apple pricing? ABC appears on-board, however, that is almost a given since Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest stockholder in Disney, the network’s parent company. Fox also reportedly is going along, describing streaming episodes as a “short-term test.”

[AppleInsider]