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  (Source: NBC)
NBC has found a new home for its TV content: Amazon.com.

It may be nearing the end of summer, but last week proved particularly heated, as media giants Apple and NBC Universal exchanged terse statements.

The dispute began when NBC Universal decided not to renew its contract to sell its TV content on iTunes.  DailyTech reported on Friday, that the two parties were parting ways, and that after the contract's expiration in December, iTunes would no longer sell NBC's TV programming, including the popular shows, "Heroes," “30 Rock” and "The Office."

NBC openly admitted that much of the dispute was over pricing, as well as NBC wanting the ability to package content together as it chose.

The split was not the first between Apple and a major media provider.  In June, the
Universal Music Group of Vivendi (UMG) announced that it would not be renewing its contract with iTunes, and would no longer sell its music on iTunes.  The move was thought to be partially instigated by Apple's slow adoption of DRM-free music technology.  UMG's artists included pop, rock, and rap acts such Akon, Rhianna and U2.

NBC was the first major television content producer to drop iTunes, though. 
ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks still provided shows with iTunes.  Further, NBC was one of iTunes' largest content providers, providing 30% of iTunes sales of TV content.

DailyTech recently chronicled the next episode in the Apple and NBC saga, with the breaking news that the conflict heating up, following the release of a statement from Apple.  Apple claimed in its statement that NBC had demanded an astronomic 150% price increase from $1.99 per episode, to $4.99 episode.  Further Apple decided to drop NBC's content early, in September, before the start of the next television season.

iTunes VP Eddy Cue is quoted by DailyTech as saying, "We are disappointed to see NBC Universal leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase, we hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers."

Now there is more headline news in the evolving drama between Apple and NBC, with the entry of a new player:  Amazon.com.  CNNMoney.com reports that NBC plans to sell its content through Amazon's Amazon Unbox service, in a "variety of packages". 

Pricing and terms were not disclosed, but many speculate that Amazon.com offered some of the concessions in price increases that iTunes would not.  Also, the announcement clearly indicates that Amazon is willing to provide NBC with the ability to control its show's content, something Apple would not do.  The article also states that NBC had been unhappy with Apple's failure to provide stronger anti-piracy measures.

While NBC did not specify prices for episodes under the new agreement, it did mention that there would be discounts to customers purchasing entire seasons of NBC TV shows.  Also pilot episodes will be available to download free of charge.

Fans of NBC programming can be happy to know that they will be able to download the TV shows--from someplace--though they may have to pay more for it.



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heh
By Vokus on 9/5/2007 9:16:58 AM , Rating: 0
I use bit torrent, free, fast, easy...




RE: heh
By FITCamaro on 9/5/2007 9:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
I use Netflix.


RE: heh
By bighairycamel on 9/5/2007 9:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
The middle-of-the-road option would be to use netflix. At least in a roundabout way NBC is still making money, while as a consumer I am saving quite a bit over the "actually legal" options.


RE: heh
By FITCamaro on 9/5/2007 1:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Hence why I do it. I'm still paying for something. The way I see it for TV shows is, I pay for cable. Therefore, I've already paid them to make the show, and they've made money off the advertising revenues. I shouldn't have to pay $50-100 a season for shows they've already profited greatly off of. If they want to sell it on DVD, they should sell it for $20-25 a season. Around the same price as a movie.

So for me to pay Netflix to buy the DVDs for me, be able to rent them whenever I want, and rip the episodes that way, I'm still giving them money. Also I get a far better quality episode than if I download it off Bittorrent. Sure you can get high quality stuff, but it often takes days if not weeks to download an entire season of shows. It took me two and a half weeks to download all ten seasons of Friends off Bittorrent. And then once I finally had it, the quality was complete crap.

Then I accidentally reformatted my hard drives with video on them after putting them in a new computer. :(

So now I'm doing the Netflix thing to get them all back. It's going to take a while, but its not a difficult process. Just rip each episode off the disc, once I've got enough, start a batch of episodes to encode and let it run. This is on a second PC so if I need my main one, I can still use it.


RE: heh
By Vokus on 9/6/2007 6:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
Bit torrent is not for every one... Also I don't know what type of up/down speed you have and where you download your episodes but I get mine really fast and in full HD...


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