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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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RE: Apple
By jrb531 on 9/5/2007 10:37:45 AM , Rating: 2
I agree 100% but never forget that in big business there is no one who really cares about the consumer!

Now they may try and pretend but as you suggest... Apple rips us off on hardware and they are getting per download fees so they want cheaper downloads as makes for more sales thus more profit for Apple. NBC wants more profit so they want to ream us on the price.

IMHO 99 cents for a song is a much better deal as you will most likely listen to that song over and over and over. For $1.99 you watch the save TV show how many times?

The rip off here is how they get suckers to pay $1.99 for a show they will usually only watch one time. I guess you can say that a song is only 4-5 minutes long and a TV show 20 or 50 minutes but NBC has some gaul thinking they can get people to pay more than $2 for a TV show.

Want to prove them both wrong? Just say no to this crap. Stop paying these crazy prices!

-JB


RE: Apple
By JonnyDough on 9/5/2007 12:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
"I agree 100% but never forget that in big business there is no one who really cares about the consumer!"

I care. Let me rephrase that. I relate. I don't really care if someone I don't know gets ripped off or not though.


RE: Apple
By randomlinh on 9/5/2007 11:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
And I buy a DVD and watch it once, what's the difference?

I'm paying $2 to have it auto-queued and commercial free, w/o the need to cut out the commercials myself.

I really don't see the problem paying for a show I really enjoy watching.

Sure, I could also do TIVO, but I don't get HD, so sadly, the iTS stuff is better quality. And again, this doesn't really support a show I really enjoy and want to see continue.


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