Apple Pushing Networks to Cut iTunes TV Prices to 99 Cents a Show

Apparently, Apple's feeling pretty generous "aggressive" lately price-wise. Citing "three people familiar with the proposal," Variety's reporting that Apple's "mulling" chopping the price of TV shows down to 99 cents an episode. Naturally, the networks aren't exactly thrilled with the less-than-modest proposal. So why make it?

It's well known that the iTunes video store isn't the titanic market juggernaut the music store is—to wit, NBC can walk, but Universal Records stays, despite the fact it's the biggest label and has notoriously strained relations with Apple. It's clear from the new iPod line that Apple sees video as its next frontier. But they're simply not selling the volume of video they expect or want to.

On one level, the idea's fairly compelling: the video download market right now is primordial at best, and 99 cents a show is a hard bargain—even just considering production for a TV episode vs. a single track—that's bound to pull in eyeballs and pump iTunes sales, maybe enough to start to grab the first foothold in the market.

Which might be exactly why the networks would balk, clipping half their check aside. The contentious situation between record labels and iTunes is largely because of the iPod/iTunes grip on the digital music market. It's leverage Hollywood is clearly wary of granting anyone wiggle room toward. So we'll be more than surprised if this comes to pass, even over in Disney land. [Variety, thanks John]