Apple iTunes Store sells 200 million TV shows; ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC offer primetime lineups in HD

Apple today announced that all four of the major networks are offering primetime programs in crisp, clear high definition on the iTunes Store, including viewer favorites “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost” from ABC, “CSI” and “CSI: Miami” from CBS, “Bones” and “Prison Break” airing on FOX, and “Heroes” and “The Office” from NBC Universal

The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular online TV store with over 200 million TV episodes sold, including more than one million HD episodes purchased since the launch of HD programming on iTunes last month.

“We’ve got an incredible Fall 2008 TV lineup with over 70 primetime comedies and dramas, including many of the most popular shows on TV in stunning HD,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, in the press release. “With over 200 million episodes sold, iTunes customers have proven they love watching television on their computer, iPod, iPhone and TV with Apple TV.”

The iTunes Store features the world’s largest online catalog of TV programs with over 70 primetime comedies and dramas from the major networks and television programs from over 70 cable networks including Bravo, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, HBO, MTV, Nickelodeon, Sci Fi, Showtime and USA. Standard definition television shows on the iTunes Store are $1.99 per episode, while HD programs from ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX are $2.99 per episode. Many series offer a season pass option which allows customers to purchase entire seasons at a discounted price.

The list of HD programs now available on the iTunes Store includes ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Eli Stone,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Life on Mars,” “Lost,” “Private Practice,” “Samantha Who?” and “Ugly Betty.” CBS programming includes “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” “NCIS” and “Numb3rs.” FOX shows include “Bones,” “House,” “Prison Break” and “Sons of Anarchy,” which airs on FX. NBC shows include “30 Rock,” “Heroes,” “Kath & Kim,” “Knight Rider,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Life,” “Lipstick Jungle,” “My Own Worst Enemy” and “The Office,” and SCI FI Channel’s “Battlestar Galactica” and “Eureka,” and USA Network’s “In Plain Sight,” “Monk,” “Psych” and “The Starter Wife.”

The iTunes Store is the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over eight million songs, over 30,000 TV episodes and over 2,500 films including 600 in crisp, clear high definition video. With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as iTunes Movie Rentals, integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, the ability to turn previously purchased tracks into complete albums at a reduced price, and seamless integration with iPod and iPhone, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

iTunes 8 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from


  1. Please Apple, don’t force me to download the SD version of the shows when I purchased and wanted to download the HD version only. It is nice that the SD version is available as a free ‘gift’ when you purchase the HD version, but I’d like to have the choice whether or not I want to hog up my already slow connection speed. Because of this, I really have stopped impulsively purchasing the HD shows, certainly never a series pass (so long Battlestar Galactica).

  2. “With over 200 million episodes sold, iTunes customers have proven they love watching television on their computer, iPod, iPhone and TV with Apple TV.”

    Does anybody knows how many of these contents are consumed on iPhone/iPod devices ? Any clue ?


  3. this is WHY blu ray IS finished

    the convenience factor is far more important than the so called quality ( half my blu rays don’t look much better than upscaled dvd’s – even on a bravia )

    720p IS more than enough for most people , look at the uk’s fressat hd and sky hd – their broadcast 720p looks amazing !

    apple uber alles

  4. I appreciate getting both versions, but it’s a bit annoying on occasions when I’ve downloaded one of the free episodes, decided it’s shit then whenever I check for downloads of other purchases it keeps trying to download the other version.

  5. You can only see the difference between SD and HD content if you have a computer, or a HD TV…

    And Flappo, as great as this is for Apple, Blu-ray has nothing to worry about. Downloadable HD content currently has addressable market of about 5% of general population (US; globally, it’s negligible). This is the number of people that have sufficiently fast broadband and the hardware required to enjoy that downloadable HD. Meanwhile, Blu-ray has significantly broader addresable market; even globally, this is fairly large; domestically (US), it is almost the entire population. Anyone can now buy HD TV and Blu-ray player, and both of them combined will be cheaper than the cheapest computer from Apple (not counting iPod Touch/iPhone). They will immediately have access to the current library of Blu-ray content (Wal-mart, Blockbuster), which allows them to watch it right away.

    Blu-ray has very bright future. Everyone knows that. Apple knows it too, and it will jump in as soon as they see the need grow above their (rather high) threshold.

  6. OK so why do the studios not offer more programming?
    Curb Your Enthusiasm… missing seasons?
    Wait one year before we offer the show…. Weeds…
    Politically Incorrrect.. we’ll only let iTunes have audio podcasts…

  7. I have a blu-ray player(PS3) and I have never bought a single blu-ray movie/TV show. Nor am I likely to.
    I have purchased many shows from iTunes. Standard def, downloaded several free HD shows. Can’t beat the convenience of browsing and buying from my house-watching them in an hour or so.

    I will stick with iTunes.

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