Apple launching TV show rentals, new AppleTV at Sept. 1st event

Apple is in 'advanced' talks with News Corp, parent company of the Fox broadcasting network, over letting consumers rent its TV shows for 99 cents, Bloomberg has reported. CBS, NBC Universal, and Walt Disney, which owns ABC, are also said to be participating in those talks.

While the focus is expected to be how the new shows add entertainment options to Apple's preexisting line of products, the company is also likely to introduce the second generation of its AppleTV product. That would likely come with a smaller hard drive and a $99 price point, sources told the news service.

Whereas the focus of the first AppleTV was on downloading content to the device, the new model would instead center on streaming. Like the first model as well, Apple does not expect the new AppleTV to be a runaway hit. Instead, the company sees the new AppleTV and the rental structure as good for "catch-up" viewing.

Bloomberg says this is how the new strategy is being marketed to content providers. This way, those companies can generate additional income, yet not affect their preexisting contracts with cable and satellite providers.

Original rumors had pointed to a subscription-like model, however sources indicated that content providers balked at the idea since it could have put those lucrative contracts at risk.

These new announcements are expected to come on September 1. Typically, Apple has held some type of music and entertainment related event during the month to introduce its iPod product line ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Indeed, the company is expected to also introduce a new iPod touch based on the iPhone 4's design, including the new Retina display.

As is typical with rumors on the company's moves, Apple refused to comment on the speculation, or confirm its plans to hold the event.

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