WSJ: CBS, ABC prepping free TV shows for Apple iPad users (with video)

“CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC are adapting episodes of their TV shows to be viewable free of charge on Apple Inc.’s new iPad, according to people familiar with the matter, offering Apple new TV content as it prepares for the multimedia gadget’s Saturday release,” Sam Schechner reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The two U.S. networks are planning to stream their TV shows over the Internet with commercial breaks, similar to on their existing Web sites, people briefed on the plans said. CBS plans to stream episodes of TV shows through the iPad’s built-in Web browser, while ABC plans to stream its shows in an iPad application, the people said.”

By Saturday, CBS plans to have full episodes of the reality series ‘Survivor’ ready for an iPad-specific version of its Web site,” Schechner reports. “ABC’s planned iPad application would stream episodes of its TV shows in an advertising-supported format similar to that on, according to people briefed on the plans. The application could have a large number of ABC programs available by the iPad launch, one of those people said. ABC currently offers an array of shows on its Web site, including ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives.'”

Kelly Evans reports on The News Hub:

Direct link via The Wall Street Journal here.

“Putting streaming video on the iPad would sidestep Apple’s iTunes content store, where Apple has been trying to juice anemic sales of TV episodes in advance of the iPad launch. So far, several media companies have rejected Apple’s push to lower the price for downloading shows from iTunes to 99 cents each, according to people familiar with the talks,” Schechner reports. “It is unclear whether any company will accept 99-cent prices by Saturday’s launch. Even if none do, it is likely most television shows would still be generally available for existing iTunes prices of $1.99 or $2.99, people briefed on the plans said.”

Full article here.


  1. As long as the shows are available, I’ve got no problem with a moderate level of commercials. Gotta sell that soap.

    I’d love a subscription on a show-by-show basis, though. That would be much better than paying for 50 channels I don’t watch.

  2. free w/ ads 99 cents w/o.


    I’d like to be able to watch a show with ads. If I like the show, I’d like to buy seasons of it at $1 per episode. Maybe Apple can keep single episodes at $1.99 if we can buy entire seasons disounted to 99 cents per episode? Furthermore, if a show’s season has over 20 episodes in it, a good way to drive digital video sales would be to keep the season price to $19.99.

    This would further improve the perceived value of such digital content being offered for we’re no longer getting physical products such as DVD’s or Blu Ray’s in nice packaging.

  3. I would say free with adds, and I would like to be able to “Pick My Add Group” on my own based on available choices for my “Sex, Age, Interests, Geographic Location, Income Level, etc……

    I don’t want someone else “Profiling” me, I just want to be able to make my own choice for what types of product advertising I see. I do want to see the ads/commercials to learn about products that may be useful or interesting to me.

    Hope all those “ad” types are listening.

  4. I would prefer higher quality, downloadable episodes of Lost for .99 an episode, but at any higher price I’ll stream them. I find that if you click each of the segments at’s site and then wait for the commercials to run, you can then watch the entire episode through without interruption.

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