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Apple's TV subscription plan gains potential partners in CBS, Disney

post #1 of 42
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Both CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. have shown interest in offering content for Apple's TV subscription proposal slated for roll out sometime in 2010.

Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. are considering participating in Apple's future plan to offer subscriptions for television shows through iTunes, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. CBS would offer programs from its parent network as well as CW, while Disney would offer programs from its ABC, Disney Channel, and ABC Family networks.

Apple would pay the content providers $2 to $4 a month per subscriber for a broadcast network like CBS or ABC, and about $1 to $2 a month per subscriber for a basic-cable network, according to the WSJ.

The report also states that Apple has briefed companies on its forthcoming tablet device, which it calls a "multimedia gadget." The touchscreen device, larger than an iPhone but smaller than a laptop, is reportedly expected to arrive by the end of March 2010.

AppleInsider reported early in November that Apple had pitched a $30-a-month iTunes TV subscription plan to major networks in hope of gaining support for an "all-you-can-eat" subscription plan. At that point it was suggested that Disney would be the first to opt in. Disney was the first company to provide its programs over iTunes in 2005, and the company has close ties with Apple - CEO Steve Jobs is the company's largest single shareholder.

It is possible that Apple has changed its strategy somewhat due to push-back from some of the larger media companies. Many of the companies in question also have cable TV interests, meaning a potential deal with Apple could result in a decrease in traditional cable revenues. With Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal earlier this month, it would be unlikely that the company would be willing to participate in a deal, and would therefore weaken a potential "all-you-can-eat" subscription plan.
post #2 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. have shown interest in offering content for Apple's TV subscription proposal slated for roll out sometime in 2010.

Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. are considering participating in Apple's future plan to offer subscriptions for television shows through iTunes, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. CBS would offer programs from its parent network as well as CW, while Disney would offer programs from its ABC, Disney Channel, and ABC Family networks.

Apple would pay the content providers $2 to $4 a month per subscriber for a broadcast network like CBS or ABC, and about $1 to $2 a month per subscriber for a basic-cable network, according to the WSJ.

AppleInsider reported early in November that Apple had pitched a $30-a-month iTunes TV subscription plan to major networks in hope of gaining support for an "all-you-can-eat" subscription plan. At that point it was suggested that Disney would be the first to opt in. Disney was the first company to provide its programs over iTunes in 2005, and the company has close ties with Apple - CEO Steve Jobs is the company's largest single shareholder.

It is possible that Apple has changed its strategy somewhat due to push-back from some of the larger media companies. Many of the companies in question also have cable TV interests, meaning a potential deal with Apple could result in a decrease in traditional cable revenues. With Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal earlier this month, it would be unlikely that the company would be willing to participate in a deal, and would therefore weaken a potential "all-you-can-eat" subscription plan.

I would love subscription content. Bring it on.

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post #3 of 42
Not surprised. Apple knows content distribution like fish know water.
post #4 of 42
Anyone ready for Apple vs NBC round two?

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nes_shows.html
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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Not surprised. Apple knows content distribution like fish know water.

Quoted for truth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualZone View Post

Anyone ready for Apple vs NBC round two?

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nes_shows.html

I think $1.99 is a lot but when I cant find it on torrents and newsgroups or want to watch something right away I do head to iTunes. Im sure Ive spent thousands on iTS video at this point.

At this point I think NBC would be on board with Apple wanting subscriptions. While Hulu seems successful to users of the service I dont think its a money maker so any additional revenue will be seen as positive. But I really dont know, NBC does a lot of really stupid crap.
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post #6 of 42
I am hoping that they do not offer an "all you can eat" $30 a month plan but let me choose the networks that I want to subscribe to independently. Like, if I know that all I want to watch is Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Colbert Report, then I should be able to only subscribe to HBO and Comedy Central for something like $5 a month each.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpurrept View Post

I am hoping that they do not offer an "all you can eat" $30 a month plan but let me choose the networks that I want to subscribe to independently. Like, if I know that all I want to watch is Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Colbert Report, then I should be able to only subscribe to HBO and Comedy Central for something like $5 a month each.

If they really make only $1 to $4 for a broadcast or basic cable stations then I dont think that $5 for Comedy Central would be outrageous. That likely wouldnt cover HBO, though. How much is that from cable companies, including the On Demand since that is how itll work?

Plus, I think people would be willing to pay that while also keeping their cable subscriptions if they could stream to their iPhone/Touch or watch via iTunes or itunes.com at work. That would be an additional $5 per person and still be more than they get from the cable and, presumably, satellite companies.
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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Quoted for truth.



I think $1.99 is a lot but when I cant find it on torrents and newsgroups or want to watch something right away I do head to iTunes. Im sure Ive spent thousands on iTS video at this point.

At this point I think NBC would be on board with Apple wanting subscriptions. While Hulu seems successful to users of the service I dont think its a money maker so any additional revenue will be seen as positive. But I really dont know, NBC does a lot of really stupid crap.

$1.99 is alot!?? compared to what?? This is whats wrong with society.. we'll pay $8 for a coffee, but we woun't pay a dollar for a song to support an artist, or an extra 2 bucks for milk produced sustainably.. or $1.99 for a half an hour tv show.. do you know how much work goes into making a tv show?
post #9 of 42
. . .
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpurrept View Post

I am hoping that they do not offer an "all you can eat" $30 a month plan but let me choose the networks that I want to subscribe to independently. Like, if I know that all I want to watch is Curb Your Enthusiasm and the Colbert Report, then I should be able to only subscribe to HBO and Comedy Central for something like $5 a month each.

Hear hear! Most of the monthly cable subscription money subsidizes dozens of garbage channels that few people would watch. Unfortunately, the networks would refuse an "ala carte" plan unless forced to do so.
post #11 of 42
I'd buy that for a dollar....
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

I'd buy that for a dollar....

and on a slightly more serious note....

This would work very well for me, I dropped comcast 4 months ago and haven't looked back. But there are some shows that I would like to watch - for example the "Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report". To pay the daily iTunes costs for these two shows alone per month would cost more than my old comcast bills.

Subscription is the way to go.
post #13 of 42
Please bring a la carte choices. I will pay for ESPN.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Quoted for truth.



I think $1.99 is a lot but when I cant find it on torrents and newsgroups or want to watch something right away I do head to iTunes. Im sure Ive spent thousands on iTS video at this point.

At this point I think NBC would be on board with Apple wanting subscriptions. While Hulu seems successful to users of the service I dont think its a money maker so any additional revenue will be seen as positive. But I really dont know, NBC does a lot of really stupid crap.

it doesn't really have to be a fight.

it's about options.

think about it this way. off the computer you can watch something when it airs, tape/tivo it and watch it later and fast forward the ads, or buy the box set.

this can be the digital version of the same thing.

hulu is your 'when it airs'
itunes (which would probably be the same files they do rentals but you can re-download over and over as you wish) is your 'tape/tivo'
the $1.99/2.99/season pass is your box set.
and if the choice leads to less shows on torrents etc, that's a double win

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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualZone View Post

Anyone ready for Apple vs NBC round two?

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nes_shows.html

I could care less about NBC. They have no shows worth watching on all their channels with the exception of 30Rock. It would be a coup to get ABC and CBS as well as their cable channels. All else I would need is:

-the pay channels (HBO, SHO (also owned by CBS), IFC, etc.
-FOX and most especially FX
-PBS

You get those channels and I would move immediately.
post #16 of 42
Throw in live sports and I'm in.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I could care less about NBC. They have no shows worth watching on all their channels with the exception of 30Rock. It would be a coup to get ABC and CBS as well as their cable channels.

Apple is in good bargaining position to launch a subscription plan with or without NBCU. If you had to pick one of the big producer/distributors -- Disney/ABC, CBS, FOX and NBCU -- that you had to launch without based on content strength, you'd pick NBCU. The Office, 30 Rock, and House (on FOX) are the only only major properties you miss without NBCU content.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

I'd buy that for a dollar....

Maybe also a 6000 SUX?
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

Apple is in good bargaining position to launch a subscription plan with or without NBCU. If you had to pick one of the big producer/distributors -- Disney/ABC, CBS, FOX and NBCU -- that you had to launch without based on content strength, you'd pick NBCU. The Office, 30 Rock, and House (on FOX) are the only only major properties you miss without NBCU content.

I agree with that considering NBC is by far the lowest rated network. They are in a position where they need their content in as many places as possible even considering Comcast's ownership. With CBS & Disney, though, they have enough to get started with this service as they originally did with the iTunes music store.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I could care less about NBC. They have no shows worth watching on all their channels with the exception of 30Rock. It would be a coup to get ABC and CBS as well as their cable channels. All else I would need is:

-the pay channels (HBO, SHO (also owned by CBS), IFC, etc.
-FOX and most especially FX
-PBS

You get those channels and I would move immediately.

NBC has put themselves in a good position with SyFy and other bits they own including production companies that control quite a few good shows. They may have more than you think - or maybe you won't care but I like sci fi (even if it is a bit weak on their channel).
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

Apple is in good bargaining position to launch a subscription plan with or without NBCU. If you had to pick one of the big producer/distributors -- Disney/ABC, CBS, FOX and NBCU -- that you had to launch without based on content strength, you'd pick NBCU. The Office, 30 Rock, and House (on FOX) are the only only major properties you miss without NBCU content.

USA Network, and to a less extent the Sci Fi (er, I mean, SyFy) Channel, both owned by NBCU, would keep a lot of folks tied to their cable. Or they could purchase the individual shows from iTunes assuming Comcast doesn't pull NBC off iTunes all together (again). For the NBC shows I do watch, Hulu is fine for the occasional missed episode (always due to my Comcast DVR f**cking up and not recording what it's supposed to), but the quality isn't good enough to watch regularly.

News and sports...I can probably get most of that over the air. But I'd even be willing to pay for some games on the cable networks, even if it was after the game was over.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

NBC has put themselves in a good position with SyFy and other bits they own including production companies that control quite a few good shows. They may have more than you think - or maybe you won't care but I like sci fi (even if it is a bit weak on their channel).

It was mentioned in a prior post what properties that NBC/Universal has which are significant. Battlestar Galactica is over, so unless you love to watch cheesy movies of killer ants trying to take over the world on Syfy, that channel is garbage.

If you needed two companies to start with it would be CBS & Disney.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

It was mentioned in a prior post what properties that NBC/Universal has which are significant. Battlestar Galactica is over, so unless you love to watch cheesy movies of killer ants trying to take over the world on Syfy, that channel is garbage.

If you needed two companies to start with it would be CBS & Disney.

I like the new "Stargate; Universe. Theyve had enough successes over the years that I dont think it will be long before we see another good series pop up.

A problem I see with this setup is networks taking obvious hits and putting them on one of their lesser networks in order to attract viewers to pay for an additional channel. That would not be good, especially if they air through cable and sat providers on one network and then stream it through a different one. You might say theyd never do that but they already air broadcast TV shows on cable networks, as a syndication I presume, almost immediately these days. I think House will air on USA at the end of the week after it airs on FOX, if Im not mistaken.
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

$1.99 is alot!?? compared to what?? This is whats wrong with society..

Can't speak for the OP of this comment but for me personally $1.99 for a show is a bit much. Why?

1) A service like NetFlix is $X/month with more or less unlimited watching. The cost per show is far lower. I don't really want to own the show. I might want to watch it once or twice in my life yeah but it's bubble gum entertainment mostly. It's not something I'm going to revisit often. You have to wait for it to come out on DVD but I'm good with that. I'm not sitting around counting the seconds until a new TV show comes out. I'll watch it when I get time or I just won't ever watch it at all. TV isn't that valuable to me.

2) I can rent a movie for $4.99 or less on iTunes. That's usually a minimum of 2 hours of entertainment. A 22 or 45 minute TV show for $1.99. That doesn't jive for me. A cheaper option to stream/rent make a lot more sense. Again I'm just not interested in owning it. Another example: I'm 20 hours deep into an audiobook that cost me about $10 via Audible's monthly subscription plan. I have another 14 hours to go. A $60 game may provide hundreds of hours of entertainment. $1.99 for 22 or 45 minutes of entertainment? Ehhhh It would have to be REALLY amazingly good and original.

You compared it to an expensive cup of coffee but the coffee has more real value to me. I really like coffee quite a lot.
post #25 of 42
Time to bust up these media conglomerates. Too much power and control over our information. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?
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post #26 of 42
How about new hardware with new features? games?

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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Please bring a la carte choices. I will pay for ESPN.

And there it is. This plan sounds amazing to me, but if I can't get ESPN, and to a lesser extent networks like the NFL network, Big Ten Network, etc., this is a no deal, and I think it is for a lot of people. ESPN is one of the big ones that would hold this back. I for one could not cancel my Fios subscription simply for that.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacWhore View Post

Throw in live sports and I'm in.

Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. I also see these available after initial broadcast. Think Hulu without the ads.
post #29 of 42
LOL. If people could get around to getting that eight dollar coffee for free they would. As far as TV production costs go, advertising pays the cost. Further, media companies are evil. Originally, copyright laws protected a work for something like fourteen years, a period that was renewable if the author was still alive at the end. Then the work went into the public domain so the public could use the work. That was the whole purpose of granting a copyright: namely to motivate authors to create things for the public benefit.

Now copyright is over a hundred years. Since the media companies screwed the public, my thoughts are screw the media companies. I am all for paying that extra two dollars for sustainable milk, and I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

$1.99 is alot!?? compared to what?? This is whats wrong with society.. we'll pay $8 for a coffee, but we woun't pay a dollar for a song to support an artist, or an extra 2 bucks for milk produced sustainably.. or $1.99 for a half an hour tv show.. do you know how much work goes into making a tv show?
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

It was mentioned in a prior post what properties that NBC/Universal has which are significant. Battlestar Galactica is over, so unless you love to watch cheesy movies of killer ants trying to take over the world on Syfy, that channel is garbage.

If you needed two companies to start with it would be CBS & Disney.

Agreed and there is nothing preventing the Disney group producing some good Sci-Fi of their own either if NBC are a hold out. I happen to enjoy good Sci_Fi and I think there are plenty that do but I see no reason why one cable company should have a monopoly on it.
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post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

And there it is. This plan sounds amazing to me, but if I can't get ESPN, and to a lesser extent networks like the NFL network, Big Ten Network, etc., this is a no deal, and I think it is for a lot of people. ESPN is one of the big ones that would hold this back. I for one could not cancel my Fios subscription simply for that.

Same here but ... but I assume we can keep FiOS internet without the TV and Phone right? I don't fancy loosing the fiber optics!
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post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

It was mentioned in a prior post what properties that NBC/Universal has which are significant. Battlestar Galactica is over, so unless you love to watch cheesy movies of killer ants trying to take over the world on Syfy, that channel is garbage.

It's all a matter of opinion. There are probably plenty of fans of Lost on here, but I wouldn't pay a cup of warm piss to watch that show. Syfy does have their crappy monster of the week movie, but it's not like they're spinning those to sound better than Lord of the Rings or anything. They're B movies with B actors, a dumb way to kill a Saturday while you have a couple of drinks with some friends like a do-it-yourself MST3K.

Personally, I enjoy Eureka and Warehouse 13 on that network. Sure there's a bunch of crap as well, but there's a bunch of crap on every network. And what's crap to one person is the favorite show of someone else. I mean really, who the heck watches "Professional" wrestling?
post #33 of 42
I do NOT have cable TV, I don't watch enough TV to warrant paying $55 a month for Comcast. However I do have internet. If they offer subscription based content on TV I would jump right on it!
I think cable companies are a monopoly (you only have one to choose from unless you want dish) and it's total b.s. It would be nice if every area had two cable companies to choose from so it would force prices down. Therefore I choose to NOT have cable TV. I do however have cable internet for the simple fact that DSL is slow in my area.
It would be AWESOME if Apple could work something like this out. I mean.... they already have the internet radio stations like cable TV has on their 900 channels
post #34 of 42
I'll sign up immediately and cancel my cable subscription.
post #35 of 42
It was an aside but it's worth noting that the tablet, according to this report, is not going to come with a 10-inch screen. The tablet would not, after all, be smaller than a netbook if it had a 10-inch screen.

I think something in the 5-inch to 7-inch range makes sense in that it would mean significantly better battery life and a more portable form factor than your typical netbook. Best of all, avoid the temptation to go with a bigger screen and you keep the cost down all-around.

It's not at all clear that there is a market for a $700 10-inch tablet but bring a $500 7-inch version of the Touch to market and Apple couldn't crank 'em out fast enough to meet demand.

Introducing a larger version of the Touch is such a rational next move in the evolution of Apple's touch-screen technology, that it's hard to figure out why the rumour of a 10-inch tablet had the legs that it did.

It's not that I have any inside info or that I'm absolutely convinced that the 10-inch touchscreen is a red herring. But looking at this logically, it seems to me that there is no apparent logic to Apple going that route. In contrast, a Touch with a screen in the 5-inch to 7-inch range is such a no-brainer, the question is why would Apple not do it? If the argument is that such a Touch model would weaken the market for the 10-inch tablet, my response is, What market? Netbooks have the bottom end covered and they will improve while laptops, especially Apple's, provide good performance in a portable form factor. The 10-inch tablet would be about as expensive as a laptop and not much more useful than a netbook. Bad combination from a marketing perspective.

In regards to Apple's subscription plans, I hope Apple succeeds. Cable and satellite providers have long gouged us and more competition is a good thing.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoalex View Post

I would love subscription content. Bring it on.

I would love subscription content *per show*. I don't want to subscribe per channel. That's lame.
At those prices though, I don't see how they would do this without commercials, and if I'm stuck with commercials, then I'm sticking with my cable company because at least then I can use my tivo to skip commercials.
post #37 of 42
Seems like all syfy plays anymore are monster movies and that stupid waste of time ghost hunters. Of all the good sci-fi content created over the years that's all they can find to play. Their main original shows - SG-U, Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 only take up a few hours a week - the rest of the time is filled with ghost and monster crap, which is hardly Sci-Fi. I can get those shows on Apple TV and Hulu without ever having to tune into Syfy.



Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

It's all a matter of opinion. There are probably plenty of fans of Lost on here, but I wouldn't pay a cup of warm piss to watch that show. Syfy does have their crappy monster of the week movie, but it's not like they're spinning those to sound better than Lord of the Rings or anything. They're B movies with B actors, a dumb way to kill a Saturday while you have a couple of drinks with some friends like a do-it-yourself MST3K.

Personally, I enjoy Eureka and Warehouse 13 on that network. Sure there's a bunch of crap as well, but there's a bunch of crap on every network. And what's crap to one person is the favorite show of someone else. I mean really, who the heck watches "Professional" wrestling?
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdyates View Post

Seems like all syfy plays anymore are monster movies and that stupid waste of time ghost hunters. Of all the good sci-fi content created over the years that's all they can find to play. Their main original shows - SG-U, Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 only take up a few hours a week - the rest of the time is filled with ghost and monster crap, which is hardly Sci-Fi. I can get those shows on Apple TV and Hulu without ever having to tune into Syfy.

Again, the same thing could be said for any channel. I'm sure if you looked, you'd find that you like about as much of Fox's schedule as you do Syfy's (I really only watch Bones on Fox, and occasionally House). Or ABC where the only show that interests me is "V". Or USA where I only watch Psych and Monk. You're probably never going to find a network where you like even 50% of their program, unless it's extremely focused like the NFL Channel or the Tennis Channel.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdyates View Post

Seems like all syfy plays anymore are monster movies and that stupid waste of time ghost hunters. Of all the good sci-fi content created over the years that's all they can find to play. Their main original shows - SG-U, Sanctuary, Eureka, Warehouse 13 only take up a few hours a week - the rest of the time is filled with ghost and monster crap, which is hardly Sci-Fi. I can get those shows on Apple TV and Hulu without ever having to tune into Syfy.

I agree with that - since I brought SyFy into the mix I figured I should qualify that. The original programming is mostly good (the examples listed here). I can do without the other stuff and especially these weekly much worse than B movies they play up each week for Sat night.

I didn't mean to get so far off topic but while we're already in the ditch headed for the fence - I would much rather see the old B movies (like the material Mystery Science Theatre 3000 used) from 50's - 60's than that reality ghost buster crap and wrestling. How did that get on SyFy anyway?
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

than that reality ghost buster crap and wrestling. How did that get on SyFy anyway?

They both cover the fiction aspect of the channel and both can be scientifically disproven as real so there you go.
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