Apple Adds More TV Show Downloads

Apple has beefed up its video downloads on iTunes through a deal with NBC Universal. The agreement brings 11 TV shows from NBC, USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel, which include current primetime hits as well as classics such as 'Dragnet' and 'Knight Rider.'

iTunes now offers more than 300 different episodes for download across 16 television programs. Each show costs $1.99 and can be viewed on a PC or the new fifth-generation iPod, which can output to a TV.

The new shows add to Apple's previous content from ABC and include, NBC's 'Law & Order,' 'The Office,' 'Surface,' 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,' 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien,' the USA Network's 'Monk' and Sci-Fi Channel's 'Battlestar Galactica.'

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Classic episodes from 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and 'Adam-12' are also available in addition to 'Dragnet' and 'Knight Rider.'

In just two months, Apple has sold more than 3 million videos despite its relative lack of content. However, hit shows including Desperate Housewives and Lost have helped spur downloads.

Commenting on Tuesday's expansion of video content, Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox says Apple's iTunes could some day rival cable. "Today's content deal not only adds more hot TV shows to the iTunes, but some programs typically only available on cable, such as 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Monk.'"

"In my neighborhood, analog cable costs about $60 a month, or the equivalent of 20 TV shows from iTunes. While most people probably wouldn't chuck cable for iTunes downloads, the new content certainly increases source choices," said Wilcox.

The new television shows are available for download now through the iTunes Store.

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