Apple to credit iTunes Season Pass holders

iTunes users who saw subscriptions to their favorite TV shows cut short because of the three-month-long writers strike will get some compensation from Apple in the form of free episodes and store credit.

Apple said Tuesday that it plans to offer two free episodes to Season Pass subscribers. The free episodes are being touted as a “thank you” to customers for their patience during the Writers Guild of America strike. Apple says the credit can be used to buy TV shows, music videos, or short films on the iTunes Store.

While many of the shows available with Season Passes are returning to the airwaves with a full slate of episodes, other shows have seen their seasons cut short by the strike. In that case, Apple plans to credit subscribers for the number of unaired episodes in a Season Pass. For example, subscribers with a Season Pass for a show that only aired 10 of its scheduled 15 episodes would get credit for the five unaired episodes.

An e-mail explaining the rebates was set to go out to Season Pass subscribers on Tuesday afternoon. As this article was posted, Season Pass subscribers around the Macworld office had not yet received their e-mail notification from Apple.

First introduced two years ago, iTunes Season Passes allow subscribers to pay up front for an entire season’s worth of episodes for a particular show; subscribers receive automatic downloads of new episodes a day or so after they air on broadcast TV. But in January, after the last remaining shows shot before the writers strike began on November 5 hit the airwaves, many Season Pass subscribers stopped receiving new downloads.

This article was reposted at 3:31 p.m. PT to contain more background information on iTunes Season Passes.

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