CBS and Apple announced Thursday that prime-time programming from the television broadcaster is now available for purchase and download through the iTunes Music Store.
CBS shows now available from iTunes include three CSI crime procedurals, “Numb3rs” and the popular reality TV series “Survivor.” CBS also indicated plans to release “NCIS,” the naval crime procedural featuring Mark Harmon, though it didn’t appear to be available as Playlist posted this article.
“These are some of the top rated shows on television,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, told Playlist .
This expands a relationship first established between CBS and iTunes earlier this year. CBS Sports made NCAA basketball coverage available for download through the iTunes Music Store, and CBS-owned premium cable network Showtime also offered series including “Sleeper Cell” and “Weeds.”
Like other television programming available for download through iTunes, CBS shows cost $1.99 per show. Season 6 of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and season 2 of “CSI: NY” are available as complete seasons of 24 episodes for $44.99. All of “Survivor’s” 12 season is available for $25.87. The second season of “Numb3rs” is available complete for $39.99. “CSI: Miami,” meanwhile, is available only as individual shows.
Cue explained that there is one episode of CSI: Miami that has some clearance issues, but they are being resolved. Apple expects that show to be offered as a season pass when the resolution is complete.
CBS has made available offerings from the 2005/2006 TV season and plans to offer new shows as they appear this fall, the day after the shows are broadcast.
Apple said that putting shows on iTunes has not hurt the number of television viewers the networks have for a given show at all.
“There is no question about that,” said Cue. “There are a couple of things that have been proven: iTunes is selling a lot of shows, which brings in revenue for the networks; the shows are very popular — we are selling more than 1 million TV shows a week; We’re certainly not hurting their TV shows, we are actually helping them. The promotion of TV shows on iTunes has actually helped the networks get more viewers on TV.”
Update: Added information from an interview with Apple executive. 11:09 am