Apple sells 200 millionth TV episode, over 1 million in HD

Although it didn't announce any new content for its iTunes Store, Apple reiterated that it is now carrying content from all four major television networks alongside news that it has sold 200 million TV episodes.

Apple began selling television shows via iTunes almost exactly three years ago, starting with a handful of programs from Disney's ABC. Since that time, Apple has expanded its library to over 30,000 episodes from most of the major TV networks.

Although sales started slow and Apple previously lumped its movie and TV sales numbers together, the introduction of the Apple TV and additional content deals have helped ramp up those figures. The company says over 1 million TV episodes have sold in high-definition -- for a $1 premium -- since it introduced HD shows last month.

For the first time -- and largely thanks to Apple smoothing out relations with NBC Universal -- iTunes now offers a full lineup of Fall 2008 primetime TV shows, over 70 in total. But the company is facing growing competition from Hulu, which enables users to view full episodes in their browser for free, but with brief commercials inserted.

Microsoft also sells TV episode downloads via Xbox Live, and Sony has begun doing the same through its PlayStation 3 console.

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