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, Hulu.com, 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 Hulu.com, I doubt they’ll be out of the paid video download business for long.