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Fox bites into Apple

iTunes deals for 16 series

Fox has become the third network to ink a deal with Apple’s iTunes, uploading series such as “24” and “Prison Break,” as well as cable skeins including “The Shield.”

Deal marks the largest network debut on the service and includes 16 series and 270 episodes from News Corp.-owned nets Fox, FX, Speed and Fuel TV.

“This iTunes deal is the first step of many to bring the best Fox content, whether it’s on the network, PCs, phones or other devices,” said Peter Levinsohn, prexy of Fox Digital Media.

Deal comes four weeks after Fox negotiated a profit-sharing agreement with its affiliated stations designed to allow the network to repurpose shows.

ABC and NBC had to patch up relations with their affils after signing deals with iTunes last fall.

“We think our affiliates will benefit from the promotion, but they will also participate in the revenue,” Levinsohn said. “As a result, we fully expect them to promote these offerings through whatever means they have.”

Deal also includes content from 20th Century Fox Television library including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly” and “Lost in Space.”

Shows from News Corp.’s cable networks includes Speed’s “Unique Whips” and Fuel’s “First Hand.”

Fox’s deal leaves CBS as the last major network that hasn’t uploaded shows to iTunes, but topper Leslie Moonves indicated the Eye is close, saying last week that negotiations are “almost done.”

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