Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is in "advanced talks" with News Corp over a new partnership that will allow iTunes users to rent TV shows for viewing over their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. At present, users can only purchase these shows at a price of $1.99 or $2.99.
The new service will instead let these users rent the shows for a period of 48 hours at $0.99. Besides News Corp, Cupertino is also believed to be talking to CBS Corp, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co over the new a-la carte TV show rental service.
If true, this is a major departure from Steve Jobs' earlier plans to introduce a $30 a month "Best of TV" subscription package to iTunes users. It is reported that the media companies were skeptical of Apple's plans since that could risk the retransmission fee revenues that these companies earned from TV system operators.
According to Bloomberg, the new rental service shall be announced on September 7 at a special media event. Steve Jobs is also expected to unveil the next generation iPod Touch and the rumored $99 Apple iTV platform during the event.
The Bloomberg report is in line with earlier speculations about the launch of on-demand TV stations. You may remember Kevin Rose's blog post earlier this week about content producers offering a la carte TV stations on iTunes to the iTV customers. The new service will allow users to watch TV shows over multiple platforms including the iPhone, iPad, iTV and iPod Touch. This could help Apple effectively compete against rival services like Hulu. The popular video streaming service had launched a Hulu Plus subscription package earlier this year that allowed iPhone and iPad users to stream television content on their devices by paying a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. Apple's offering could additionally bring this content to the users' televisions using the new iTV platform.
Would you prefer to rent the TV shows rather than buying them? Or would you prefer to pay a monthly subscription fee?