So much for Steve Jobs’ $.99/episode model. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPad will be getting free shows (with commercials) from CBS and ABC. ABC will be creating an iPad App that will inject commercials into its content and should be available shortly.
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. 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. CBS and ABC have struck a deal with Apple to stream some shows over the new iPad. By Saturday, CBS plans to have full episodes of the reality series “Survivor” ready for an iPad-specific version of its CBS.com Web site. It also plans to offer promotional clips of several other shows, including crime-solving drama “The Mentalist” and sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
So it looks like the networks might be looking to circumvent iTunes (and Hulu as well?).