Steve Jobs and Jeff Zucker are back to being buddies and may be in the mood to make an iTunes deal.  (Source: Ted Tha/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Steve Jobs and Zucker hint at NBC and iTunes reunion in separate interviews

NBC and Apple's relationship has been long and painful.  First came the news that NBC moved to split with iTunes, refusing to sign another contract.  Then came allegations by Apple that NBC tried to gouge it by demanding a cut of iPod revenue and higher prices.  This was quickly followed by NBC blasting Apple in a press conference as "indecent".  It then salted the wound by signing content deals with Amazon and also with free ad-driven music provider SpiralFrog.

The end result was an uneasy stalemate -- NBC still offers older content on iTunes, and there isn't much newer content to worry about due to the writers' strike in Hollywood.  Tensions began to ease this month when Universal Media Group, NBC's parent company, and Apple signed an agreement to provide iTunes rentals of Universal's content.

Now as if the pair's back and forth relationship wasn't schmaltzy enough, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker are suddenly saying flattery compliments about each other, and each other's services, hinting at a possible reunion. Jobs and Zucker are talking about each other as if they were best friends and making the kind of flowery comments seldom seen this side of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer's deep friendship.  In an interview with Financial Times Zucker gave Apple some loving, stating, "We've said all along that we admire Apple, that we want to be in business with Apple."

He finished by waxing about his admiration for Steve Jobs, saying, "We're great fans of Steve Jobs."

Jobs showed some affection right back for Zucker and NBC right back, stating, "We’ll put it back together on the TV thing. Everybody lost [when Zucker pulled his content off iTunes]. But NBC is a great company, and Apple is a great company."

Whether an exact agreement on pricing and other issues can be worked out remains to be seen, but it is obvious that the split hurt both companies.  Now it looks like their CEOs are back to being best friends forever, perhaps foreshadowing a new content deal.  Theres certainly no shortage of "Heroes", "Office", and "Chuck" fans hoping this is the case.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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