What's funny about that, of course, is that Apple sees that's already happening. Services like Hulu Plus and Netflix are already making cable customers rethink their monthly fees, and so Apple is finding itself with a limited amount of time to get in on the action. The Wall Street Journal says the company is pushing for agreements "before the new television season starts," but now that we know there's an event planned for September 1st, it's more likely Apple is trying to get agreements set up before the announcement. Of course, as Philip Elmer-DeWitt points out, the real economic tradeoff isn't between the $0.99 rentals and a more lucrative plan the studios come up with -- it's between Apple's proven iTunes-based economy and the free-range TV programming on BitTorrent.
And with its ties to Disney, odds are that Apple will definitely have enough to go forward, even if it doesn't have every channel signing on the dotted line just yet. So here's the question: if Apple does announce a new iTV, and a way to watch new television on demand right away, will you choose a system like that over whatever cable bill you're currently paying?