Warner Bros claims Apple's TV plans too cheap

Warner Bros chief executive Barry Meyer declined Apple's invitation to offer 99 cents iTunes rentals in the US, on a newly revamped Apple TV, due to the lack of potential revenue.

Meyer told an investor conference at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Newport Beach, California on Thursday, the price was too low, and feared cheap rentals could harm the sales of full seasons of hit shows.

"We just don't think the value proposition is a good one for us," Meyer told analyst Jessica Reif, insisting he'd rather license whole seasons of shows rather than "open up a rental business in television at a low price."

Currently, the studio subsidiary of Time Warner, sells popular shows such as Gossip Girl on the iTunes Store for $2.99 each.

The $99 Apple TV, introduced at the start of the month, lets US customers rent favourite TV shows - including sitcoms, dramas, and reality series - commercial free and in HD.

News Corp.'s Fox, The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channel and BBC America have all so far signed up to offer cheaper rentals. Apple still hopes CBS and NBC will be persuaded the 99 cents deal can generate income for the US broadcasters, dramatically increasing the volume of rentals with viewers attracted to the lower price.

Apple TV

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