One of the reasons for the slooooooow roll out of prime time TV shows on iTunes has been Steve Jobs' infamously hard-line approach to pricing, but it looks like all that has changed with the coup of capturing HBO.
The States' numbero uno TV station (as least as far as quality goes) has finally been roped aboard the good ship Apple after the Cupertino-based company agreed to up its usual pricing of $1.99 per episode to $2.99 for HBO's flagship shows: Rome and The Sopranos. By way compensation, the channel's other hits such as Deadwood, Flight of the Conchords, The Wire and Sex In the City to name but a few will all come with $1.99 RRPs.
"We're thrilled to bring this incredible lineup (sic) of programming from HBO to the iTunes Store," said Eddy Cue, Apple's VP of iTunes. "These are some of the most talked about television shows ever, as well as some of the most requested by our customers."
Of course how all this pans out for international distribution is another matter entirely (it's a tax and rights thing), but it certainly should open the floodgates for Apple in the US as other reluctant networks come back to the table expecting a larger piece of the pie.
Ultimately however what we are being presented with is the conundrum of lower prices verses wider content and while cost is always a factor I'd have to say at least this way users have the option to buy or not to buy.
As for Bittorent and Usenet fans, can you please stop sniggering now...
Ok. Have it your way.