HBO to Apple: Bada Bing?

Content deal between companies would supposedly involve selling HBO's content at a different price than the rest of the iTunes content--something Apple has fiercely resisted.

HBO might soon be selling the old exploits of Tony Soprano on iTunes. HBO

Apple may be getting ready to announce a content deal that would put old episodes of The Sopranos on iTunes.

Citing HBO insiders, Portfolio reported on Monday that Apple and HBO are getting ready to announce a partnership deal within the next two weeks (coinciding with the release of the Sex in the City movie?) that would supposedly involve Apple breaking its pledge to have the same pricing structure for all content sold on iTunes.

The report doesn't specify exactly how much Apple would charge for old episodes of HBO shows, but it notes that HBO insiders think that the deal is the "first time that Apple has agreed to a separate price structure for a content provider."

Adding HBO's content would be another feather in Apple TV's cap , after Apple turned the box into a movie rental service in January. The company has yet to deliver the 1,000 movies that were supposed to be available for rental in February; just fewer than 800 titles are currently available in the "All Rentals" section of the iTunes Store.

But the real impact of the deal could mean that Apple is finally ready to introduce variable pricing on the iTunes Store, after years of insisting otherwise. The Conde Nast publication notes that NBC's very public spat with Apple was over just that subject.

About the author

    Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.


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