Apple wants to cut TV show price to 99 cents: reports

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Apple is in talks with television networks to begin selling TV shows on iTunes for 99 cents, half the current price, to coincide with the release of the iPad next month, newspapers reported Thursday.

The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal said the talks between the California maker of the iPod, iPhone and new iPad tablet computer and networks were ongoing and had not been concluded yet.

During the unveiling of the touchscreen iPad in late January, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs touted its TV-viewing capabilities. The iPad is slated to go on sale in late March.

The FT, citing "people familiar with the discussions," said offering some TV shows at a lower price would be aimed at testing whether a reduced cost would spur video sales on iTunes.

Single episodes of most TV shows on iTunes currently cost 1.99 dollars in standard definition and 2.99 dollars in high-definition.

The FT said some US broadcast and pay television networks had agreed to the lower prices after initially resisting Apple's push.

The Journal said Apple had already begun testing a price of 99 cents for certain shows on iTunes.

The newspaper quoted a "person familiar with the talks" as saying the lower prices would be a bid to "ignite the video part of iTunes," which has been a small contributor to iTunes revenue so far.