Apple to Stop Selling NBC Television Shows


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

After report today that NBC and Apple were unable to come to an agreement on pricing, Apple confirmed in a press release that they would not be selling NBC television shows for the upcoming season on iTunes.

Apple explains the move by stating that NBC had wanted "double the wholesale price" for each NBC episode and claimed it could result in a retail price of $4.99 per episode. They also state that ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW have continued television show sales at the same price as last season ($1.99 per episode).
"We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers."
NBC's current shows will continue to be available on iTunes until December of this year. NBC accounted for 30% of iTunes TV sales.

Article Link


macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2007
Looks like I'll be downloading "The Office" and "30 Rock" from other (free) sources.


macrumors member
Oct 27, 2005
Bit Torrent for the win.
They could have had my money, but I guess it's not good enough for them.


macrumors member
Jul 2, 2003
I doubt they thought that Apple would go for the price hike. More likely they stuck to the absurd price just to scuttle the deal. They, like many other media companies, imagine that they (or one of their partners.. *cough* MS *cough*) can do a better job of selling digital content online. Time will tell, but so far the only significant competition to the iTunes Store is P2P.


macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
And just like that, Apple takes the PR high ground. Ouch.
Looks like I'll be downloading "The Office" and "30 Rock" from other (free) sources.
I can't believe they'd try something like that, when the music companies follow suit, piracy will become more rampant again and the small profit they made from iTunes will completely drop...

All this proves are these companies really are stupid. I hope NBC really suffers while not on iTunes, I hope they lose tons of money.

Corrosive vinyl

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
4.99 a tv show episode? for that I would just buy the dvd or go the netflix route. what about NBCs 40% of downloads? It is upsetting to hear the 4.99 price when I have things from NBC news which were free.


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
Dang, I downloaded The Office, 30 Rock, and Heroes last season... No more.

I've got to get a TiVo-type thing, I guess...

Edit: $3.99 - $4.99 per show is impossible. What in the world are they thinking. It might be worth it to run NBC's shows at that price for a while and look at their profits from iTunes plummet.


macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2002
Manchester, NH
I like this move by Apple. By saying that 50 other cable companies have already agreed to the $1.99 per episode price, Apple is basically backing NBC into a corner and calling their bluff.

I don't see how NBC can think they are going to win on this one.


macrumors member
Jul 2, 2003
So, who is going to sell NBC shows online, if not Apple?
Well, considering that MS is the other half of MSNBC, I imagine it will be Microsoft. I heard that all of NBCs shows are going to be up on the Xbox Live Marketplace this season. Granted, you have to buy a $350 game machine to buy the episodes, but maybe they're thinking of expanding the service?


macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2005
Not sure if the pricing was the only issue with signing a new deal, but we do know this:

The other networks were satisfied with the $1.99 pricing.

The networks make money from advertising, generally. Maybe they don''t know how to act when they are actually selling episodes for a fee to the consumer. However, they have done this before with complete season DVDs. $5/episode would make a complete season very costly!


macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2006
Oxford, UK
talk about shooting yourself in the foot NBC - $4.99 that is ludicrous!

Thankyou iTunes 4 not caving in to these stupid demads!

<3 :apple: <3


macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
I would not be suprised if this is connected to the HD wars too. NBC owns Universal which is adamant about only supporting HD-DVD. Apple is with Blue Ray? Watch Microsft X-box online service announce exclusivity to NBC shows.


macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2003
Doesn't surprise me...

Isn't NBC owned by "evil" Universal? I can see this as some major corporate posturing here. Universal is using NBC and their DRM-free music as a test to see how much clout Apple has. If their ventures fail - then that will be a signal to them that iTunes is the only gig in town. However, their hope is that by withdrawing these "smaller" ventures (in compared to their music sector) they can start an exodus that others may follow.

I don't see this as working at all and I hope it doesn't. Universal's only reason for doing any of this is to hike prices up. Greedy ***** heads. I think they need to "bite the curb".


macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2005
Good on Apple!

I agree, good for Apple to call their bluff. 30% of iTunes TV show sales cannot be an insubstantial loss for NBC. Just downright greedy!


macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
So I guess everyone who posted earlier, guessing it was NBC wanting more money, were right. So "money-hungry" bastards I assume is appropriate now (officially)? It looks like it WASN'T about them getting more of a percentage or Apple wanting anything new, it was just NBC saying "Hey, this has worked really well for us so far, so let's screw it up, just like we did in the music biz. We're greedy, we know it. We can't help it."

Nobody was offering anything like iTunes back in the beginning, so NBC went along. Now that it has become very popular, they want to screw their customers. The very ones that have supported this business model. Classic. Then when they go somewhere else to sell their online digital content and find that it doesn't give them the access and success like iTunes, let's see where they stand then.

Oh, and then maybe they can see people downloading Bit-torrents of their shows more and more.

NBC executive: "Hey, what happened? Where did everyone go?"


macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2007
Thank You Apple

I'm glad Apple is keeping a stiffy on pricing. I'm pretty sure Amazon will be Happy to Sell NBC shows or maybe NBC should just give'em away for Free ;)


macrumors member
Sep 25, 2003
New Jersey
Wow thats just pure greed. If anything they are gaining money from someone who pays two dollars per episode. For example season three of the office has 23 episodes. Thats about 46 dollars if you were to buy the episodes individually. Now at 5 dollars that would come out to about 115 dollars. Who would pay that when you can get the season dvd for about 32 dollars at amazon? At least one company still sticks up for its customers.
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