HBO, NBC, and Flexible Pricing on iTunes

HBO television programs were added to the iTunes store today, including Sex and the City, Deadwood, and The Sopranos. But, you see, that’s not even the really big news. The really big news, as TUAW alludes to, is that some of the HBO programs are priced at $2.99 per episode, a dollar higher than the price of nearly every other television show that iTunes sells.

This sort of flexible pricing model is exactly what NBC was looking for when it took its shows off of iTunes last year. And me, while I’m not excited about the prospect of flexible pricing—I like knowing that any TV episode I buy, regardless of what show its from, is going to cost me the same two bucks—I do like the idea that maybe this opens up the possibility of Apple and NBC kissing and making up. I’ve missed out on an entire season of Heroes that I would have otherwise watched if I had been able to download it (legally) and catch up on it whenever I liked.

I really love the idea of a la carte TV. Like Dan Rubin, who twittered about ditching cable for an Apple TV and thereby saving a boatload of cash, I would absolutely jump at the chance to cancel my cable subscription and pay only for the two or three shows that I dig, if only all of those shows were easily accessible and purchasable from my Apple TV.