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Apple's iTunes Inks Showtime

2/13/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Showtime became the latest television network to announce plans to offer pay-per-view Internet downloads of its original content for video iPod viewers.

The cable and satellite TV network said it will offer downloads of episodes from the current seasons of its Showtime original series “Weeds,” “Sleeper Cell”and “Fat Actress” on Apple's iTunes service.

Each episode will be available in their original unedited form for $1.99, the network said.

The announcement is said to be the first of its kind from a premium cable TV network. Showtime executives said they will carefully monitor the take rate on the downloadable programs in developing future revenue streams for the network.

Apple's iTunes service currently offers programs from other suppliers including ABC, Disney Channel and MTV.

The iTunes downloads will make Showtime original content available to consumers who do not currently subscribe to the premium cable network. Showtime currently has about 14 million subscribers, the network said.

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