Posted August 31, 2007 2:24 pm by with 13 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Claiming they’re unable to come to an agreement on pricing, NBC Universal has declined to renew their contract with iTunes to sell downloads of their television shows. The New York Times reports today that NBC, which has provided 40% of iTunes’ video downloads, “is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.”

Riiiight. Pricing. I totally buy that reasoning, and so does Mike Arrington—NOT. NBC’s crazily-named video site,, launches in private beta in October. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start selling their licensed content there.

The iTunes/NBC deal will remain in place until its contract expires in December. Many other companies would love to sign an exclusive agreement to sell NBC’s shows (not to mention Universal’s movies)—the Times names Amazon, Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Sony for starters. Even if they don’t end up selling their content through, I doubt they’ll be out of the paid video download business for long.

  • Looks like Apple is trying to turn the tables back on NBC now – by passing on displaying any new NBC shows for the rest of the year.

  • Tim

    Feeling shafted by NBC’s proposed $4.99 an episode price hike that got their new fall season kicked out of iTunes?

    Kevin Wick has been kind enough to look up the contact information for the NBC Executives that are key to getting this situation reversed.

    Amy Zelvin, NBC Universal Digital Media Communications, (212) 664-7436
    Joe Libonati, NBC Universal Television Group Publicity, (818) 840-3050

    (edit) Some additions-

    Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal (212) 664-4444
    Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio

    Now, please don’t call these people and threaten them, cuss them, or yell at them. That’s not going to get anything accomplished.

    If, however, you want to politely let them know how you feel about their suggested price increase, and subsequent removal from iTunes, it might actually have some affect.

    If enough people call, NBC just might listen…you never know.

  • Do you really think this is going to seriously hurt apple though? I’m mean its a blow to the bottom line, but by how much?

  • Lloyd

    I think it is a strategic mistake on NBC’s part. Remember that consumers purchase NBC shows on iTunes because they have iPod, rather than purchasing the iPod to watch NBC shows. Besides, Apple still has the bulk of the market for portable media players so there goes that customer base. Bottom line: corporate greed.

  • Interesting that this happens with the launch of the Hulu project. I think it is clear what the real reason for the deal breaker is…

  • Something tells me both Apple and NBC will be fine. Yeah, I’m sure this is all about price too. (I say with sarcasm dripping)

    Of course given the current NBC programming is this really a huge loss to anyone.

  • If I were NBC, I’d steer clear from paid video. I’d open a free-for-all video site with ads. More companies should follow Google’s example and start giving away stuff and watch their share grow.

  • That’s crazy… Any times my DVR crapped out and I needed to catch the new episode of the Office, I’d head on over there. That was really the only reason left to USE iTunes.

    Big loss there for Apple in my opinion.

  • Do you really think this is going to seriously hurt apple though?

  • Jenna Flaubert

    So NBC and Apple, two multi-million dollar corporations, argue over money… and WE get screwed.

    So Lame. I just want to download 30 Rock. Is that such a crime?

  • Pingback: FlowTV | Getting the Big Picture on Television on the Internet()

  • Remember that consumers purchase NBC shows on iTunes because they have iPod, rather than purchasing the iPod to watch NBC shows.

  • iTunes will always be popular, but they need the shows more. Afterall if the tunes were not popularised by the shows who would want to hear them anyway?

    Eva White’s last blog post..Console Wars