99-cent iTunes TV rentals hinging on News Corp.?

Apple’s ability to launch a new 99-cent-per-episode TV rental service may hinge on the decision of Rupert Murdoch, founder, chairman, and CEO of Fox parent News Corp. The Los Angeles Times reports that CBS, NBC Universal, and Time Warner have rejected Apple’s proposal on the grounds that such a low cost for individual episodes could eat into traditional revenue streams, while Disney, in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest individual shareholder, has reportedly agreed to try the new pricing plan. The report states that the new offering would function as a “six-month pricing trial,” and that Murdoch is prepared to participate in hopes of bettering the company’s relationship with Jobs and potentially gaining benefits for other divisions within the company. Murdoch has in the past said that the iPad may be able to help rescue print media by luring in new customers who wouldn’t otherwise subscribe to a newspaper; the device also plays heavily into his plans to launch a digital national news product later this year, according to the report.

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