Apple quietly removed the ability for iTunes users to rent TV episodes from the iTunes store today. The only options now available for iTunes TV viewing are to buy full episodes or purchase a season pass which gives viewers every episode in a season at a discounted price. Here's a statement from Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr about the new policy change.

"iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows. iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose."

Networks such as ABC and Fox dropped their rental prices from $1.99 an episode to 99 cents an episode a year ago, although it seems most consumers have little to no interest in TV episode rentals. Here's a statement from Fox which reflects the company's stance on the matter.

"After carefully considering the results of the rental trial, it became clear that content ownership is a more attractive long-term value proposition both for iTunes customers and for our business. To further enhance the value of ownership, we are working with Apple to make content available within their new cloud-based service."

iTunes charges $1.99 to purchase an episode in standard definition, and $2.99 for high-definition episodes.