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Thursday, September 20 12:00 AM ET

Apple Expands Media Empire with The Apple Channel

By Brian Briggs and Scott Small

Cupertino, CA – Steve Jobs announced the creation of The Apple Channel (TAC), a new basic cable channel that will cater exclusively to the tastes of Apple customers.

Apple Channel Logo“A new era of television entertainment dawns today,” said Jobs. “With shows like The Core and Byting the Apple, viewers will get insider information on upcoming technologies, and personal stories about employee achievements.”

Jobs also announced several other original series that will be featured including a teen drama centered on iPods called The 99-cent Crew, and an animated show produced in partnership with Pixar called Meet the Steves.

The announcement continues Apple's move toward becoming a media company rather than a technology company, a move that many critics think is a mistake. “It's one thing to make entertaining products, another to make entertaining programming,” said NBC President Jeff Zucker in an interview conducted on his iPhone.

Instead of infomercials that other fledgling networks broadcast to fill open air time, TAC will be displaying images of sleek, shiny objects designed to keep Apple customers enthralled for hours; small children and animals should also be drawn to this programming.

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A special feature will be interactivity with Apple TV which will allow the viewer to instantly download programs for $1.99 with the press of the remote control's one button. Jobs also said that iPhone owners won't be left out. “You'll be able to stream programs to your iPhone very slowly,” he said.

Apple isn't the first technology company to enter the cable television market. Microsoft's MSNBC, a 24-hour news channel debuted in 1996, and Dell's short-lived Dude TV debuted and folded in 2001.

The network will begin broadcasts on basic cable and satellite systems in the United States and Canada in December of 2007.

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