Apple offers TV Shows on iTunes – Finally!

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ABC’s Summer Heights High brings ABC in line with the BBC. (Terence Huynh/Reawaken Media)

Apple has just released something that has made us very happy here at TECHGEEK – TV Shows on iTunes. This long awaited feature brings Australia in line with the US and the UK with television show downloads.

The current lineup features US shows from ABC Studios and Disney Channel, both owned by Disney – which Steve Jobs has a Board of Directors seat; and Viacom. Australian content includes ABC and the Nine Network.

To me, this now brings ABC almost near to the standards to what its British counterpart, the BBC, has done online. ABC now allows you to watch video, even archived material on some shows, from 2005. It has published its news videos in Flash – a common format, and has now started a ‘IPTV’ service – which is kinda crap, but still good.

But also, this sees something weird. The ABC offers many of its shows for free on its website in podcast form – like Summer Heights High in 2007. As well, ABC Studios mainly have Seven broadcasting their programs, meaning that Apple might delay it until the entire season has been screened or release it early, bringing the wrath of Seven.

There is also another flaw. All ISPs, excluding iiNet which allows unlimited downloads on iTunes content, may need to readjust their plans or you will need to move to a bigger plan or another ISP as the files are around 500MB per file. This means you could be wasting 7GB for just one season of Lost, which contains 14 episodes.

Nine’s offering includes Sea Patrol and the failed series Canal Road, while ABC’s offerings include its popular shows: The Chaser’s War on Everything and Summer Heights High; with other shows like Foreign Correspondent.

The only other channels I want on iTunes are Foxtel, Seven, Ten and the BBC. The BBC for Doctor Who, Ten for Good News Week (though it’s avaliable in Podcast), Seven for All Saints and City Homicide and Foxtel because of its ‘Showcase’ content. What channels/studios do want to be on iTunes?

All episodes are priced $2.99, and are most likely to be encoded in the same DRM which Apple uses on its TV shows sold in the US.

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