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Apple Gets "Desperate"

If Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) seems to be getting lost and desperate lately, it's because it is getting Lost and Desperate Housewives. As part of the rollout of the new iTunes 6 platform -- and Apple's new video-friendly iPod -- the company is teaming up with Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) to offer downloads of Disney's hit shows.

For as little as $1.99 a show, television junkies will be able to download new and old episodes of some of the more popular shows on ABC and the Disney Channel. In a bold move, the latest installments will be made available to iTunes users the very next day. That may find TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) and bellyaching advertisers together at the same short end of the stick for the first time. Meanwhile, televised content purveyors may be on to a new revenue stream worth paddling if this takes off.

There is, of course, something far deeper here than the ability to appease your niece by having That's So Raven as a digital download. Think about the two players here for a minute. Apple. Disney.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs also happens to hold the majority stake in Pixar (Nasdaq: PIXR  ) . Jobs and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner had a chilly relationship at best. Pixar felt it was giving up too much in its partnership with Disney even before Eisner irreparably upset Jobs by ripping into Apple's "Rip, Mix, Burn" marketing campaign.

That's why it can't be a coincidence that this deal is getting inked just days after Eisner left the company. New Disney CEO Robert Iger will have to prove himself over the years as a capable leader, but one thing that he seems bent on correcting in the near term is repairing many of the frayed relationships that Eisner left in his wake.

For those who want to see Pixar and Disney stay together after their current contract expires with May's release of Cars, this is as good a sign as any that Jobs is staging productive conversations with Disney's top brass. Even if Disney merely stays on as a distributor now that Pixar has the means and pedigree to go it alone on the production front, Iger's off to a great start if he's able to keep Jobs close -- and happy.

Pixar and TiVo areMotley Fool Stock Advisorrecommendations.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that an Apple a day will help keep the short sellers away. He does own shares in Pixar and Disney.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
DIS $93.03 Up +1.00 +1.09%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
TIVO $19.90 Down -0.10 -0.50%
TiVo CAPS Rating: **