At $1.99, buying an episode of a TV show on iTunes and other digital download sources is pretty cheap, but Apple may be hammering out a way to let consumers view that content even cheaper. The price structure of most digital download services is pretty much identical: TV shows cost around $2 per episode, movies range generally from around $15 - $20, and movie rentals cost around $3, with HD options costing a minimal premium for all types of content.
So there is a significant cost advantage to consumers who just want to watch a movie one time instead of paying to own it. The idea of TV show rentals was not really in the discussion, until now.
As Apple is going back to the drawing board with the Apple TV, an overpriced device that even Apple fanboys thought was a flop. As part of the redesign, Apple is working with content providers to offer TV show rentals, which like digital movie rentals would allow customers to view a rented title for 24 hours, for 99 cents each, according to sources from Web site NewTeeVee.
As more and more streaming video becomes available, more people are looking for ways to get that content on their TV instead of their computer. There's still not a lot of concrete information about the new Apple TV service, but you can be sure Apple doesn't want to mess up again.