updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon May 12, 2008
HBO coming to iTunes?
Apple is on the verge of selling movies and TV shows from HBO, according to Portfolio. The publication cites HBO employees "involved in executing the agreement," who say that sales will be announced and launched at the same time, probably within one to two weeks. HBO is famous for a number of high-profile TV series, such as Deadwood, Flight of the Conchords and The Sopranos, as well as a number of first-run original films.
The sources on the deal claim that HBO's parent company, Time Warner, has managed to arrange for better terms than other networks, which have typically had their episodes sold for $1.99 apiece on the US iTunes Store. It is suggested that HBO programming may cost more, or that the network will take home a larger percentage of the profit on the current rate.
In any case the deal is expected to be mutually beneficial, as Apple wants to increase the adoption of its Apple TV set-top, and HBO wants to increase the revenue generated from its archives, even though it already sells box sets on DVD.
If Apple does agree to varied pricing, it may mark the formation of a trend at the company. Last week the UK iTunes Store began selling NBC/Universal programming at varied rates, something Apple has traditionally resisted, despite intense pressure from NBC that ultimately resulted in the network's shows being pulled from iTunes US.