According to multiple anonymous sources, Apple executives are trying to create some interest from the big broadcast and TV networks for a $30 a month all-you-can-watch buffet of TV programs on iTunes. The rumors put the launch of the service at some point early next year. However, that particular date is in doubt as not a single network has signed up as content providers. The networks are showing some interest in the idea, possibly because of the new revenue stream that it implies, but are wary of signing up because of the response they may face from powerful cable and satellite operators.
Apart from getting the service up and running, Apple’s biggest problem will be to convince subscribers. Even though a cable bill can run up to $80 a month, getting people to switch to iTunes will only succeed if it is able to get all the big broadcast and cable TV networks committed to the platform. Apple knows the difficulty in getting content providers to sign up, as they went through a similar issue with the à la carte downloads for iTunes.
At the moment though details are sketchy and even simple facts, such as whether TV shows will be available for download immediately after the broadcast or having to wait for the next day, are rare. Even if the service does get off the ground, Apple stands to face stiff competition from Hulu, which currently offers on-demand ad-supported TV shows free.