Print 12 comment(s) - last by kelmon.. on May 14 at 3:10 AM

Apple introduces higher per episode fee for some HBO shows

While many users think of only music when it comes to Apple’s iTunes store, the store actually offers much more. Not too long ago Apple added movie rentals to the iTunes store that could be streamed through its Apple TV set-top box.

Apple is on mission to increase the offerings via it iTunes service and today Apple and HBO announced a deal that would place episodes of some of HBO’s most popular series on the iTunes service for purchase.

The first wind of the HBO and Apple deal began circulating yesterday with reporting that insiders close to the deal said an official announcement of the agreement could come in one or two weeks.

Atypically, the announcement came much faster than predicted with Apple making the official announcement today that HBO would be offering its premium programs on iTunes for purchase on a per episode basis.

After the parting of ways with Apple and NBC over the $1.99 flat rate per episode fee iTunes charges many will be surprised to hear that Apple is offering a new pricing plan for HBO shows.

Some of HBO’s less popular and older programs like “Sex and the City”, “The Wire”, and “Flight of the Conchords” will retail for the standard $1.99 per episode fee. However, the newer and more popular shows from HBO like “The Sopranos”, “Deadwood”, and “Rome” will be priced at $2.99 per episode. Entourage, arguably the best program in the HBO stable is not offered at this time. Season passes for HBO programs are available including the full “Sex in the City” 96 episode run.

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Too high.
By JackBurton on 5/13/2008 3:02:50 PM , Rating: 3
$2.99 per 45-55 minute is way too much. I'd say $.99 per episode is fine, otherwise, I'll just buy the season on DVD.

RE: Too high.
By TheDoc9 on 5/13/2008 3:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone know what resolution these episodes are and if they contain drm?

RE: Too high.
By kelmon on 5/13/2008 4:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
No idea about the resolution of these files (but I expect 640*360, which is what the episode of Heroes Season 2 I downloaded last week came in) but I can guarantee they'll have the usual FairPlay DRM. If they were going to be DRM-free then there'd have been a press conference by Steve, ala the introduction of iTunes Plus with EMI.

RE: Too high.
By TheDoc9 on 5/13/2008 4:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
oh well thanks, when they sell episodes DRM free in 720p I'll buy. For now I'm waiting for the disk.

RE: Too high.
By kelmon on 5/14/2008 3:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
Best of luck on that one. DRM may well be on its way out with music but no one seems interested in dropping it yet for video. The HD version, however, is much more likely if the likes of HBO makes it available to Apple since Apple is delivering 720p content via the AppleTV currently.

RE: Too high.
By Polynikes on 5/13/2008 3:25:54 PM , Rating: 4
I don't believe in paying for TV shows as long as you already have a cable subscription. If I miss a show (and forget to use the DVR to record it) I'd rather just download an HD torrent of it.

RE: Too high.
By sapiens74 on 5/13/2008 5:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking that while scrolling down to your post :P

RE: Too high.
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2008 9:45:07 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah honestly I'm the same way. I pay for cable. If I miss it and forget to DVR it, I feel I'm justified to download a torrent of it so I can see it.

RE: Too high.
By kattanna on 5/13/2008 3:26:46 PM , Rating: 3
or better yet.. netflix an entire season at once

which is what we do, sure we have to wait for the season to come out on DVD, but at least it is DVD quality and no commercials. plus we have found that watching an entire season like that all together, we get more of the story out of it.

RE: Too high.
By kelmon on 5/13/2008 4:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think you can safely blame HBO for the increased pricing on this one. Still, I don't mind the price since in some ways it gives me more flexibility than the DVD (strange but true). The FairPlay DRM makes it a bit more difficult to use the files (no burning to DVD) but it does give me something I can watch on my iPod immediately so I don't need to muck about ripping the DVD with HandBrake. As usual, your mileage may vary...

RE: Too high.
By icrf on 5/13/2008 5:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
If it's HBO, aren't they full hour episodes, no commercials? I've never subscribed, but considering the subscription cost, I assume that's how it works.

This is an outrage!
By MADAOO7 on 5/13/2008 5:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
How can HBO not bring Entourage or Curb Your Enthusiasm to iTunes! Outrageous I tell you! Witchcraft! Damn you HBO!

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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