NBC to End iTunes Sales?

MacRumors

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NYTimes reports that NBC and Apple have been unable to come to an agreement on pricing of its television shows.

As a result, NBC may not renew its contract to sell its television content on the iTunes store.
The media conglomerate — which is the No. 1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, accounting for about 40 percent of downloads — notified Apple of its decision late yesterday, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.
NBC had reportedly been seeking better piracy controls and the ability to bundle videos. The decision will not immediately affect availability of programs as the current deal extends through December -- so there is still time for the companies to reach an agreement as the talks continue:
The two companies could still reach an agreement on a new contract before their current deal expires. While each side has so far refused to budge, the talks will continue and have been free of acrimony, the person familiar with the matter said.


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Buschmaster

macrumors 65816
Feb 12, 2006
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Either I can buy a season of Scrubs and the Office when it starts again or I can find it in some other manner that will not benefit NBC at all.

Your call, NBC.
 

cammo427

macrumors newbie
Aug 30, 2007
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Strong station... Too strong to not be on iTunes

The Office is constantly in the top TV show downloads even when it is out of season. Heroes was one of the most popular shows on TV last year. There is no way a huge station like NBC would ever close a deal with something as big as iTunes. Maybe the food network, but not NBC.
 

iJawn108

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Apr 15, 2006
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Either I can buy a season of Scrubs and the Office when it starts again or I can find it in some other manner that will not benefit NBC at all.

Your call, NBC.
exactly my sentiments if i lived in the US. I hear season 3 will retail for 18 Schrute Bucks and 4 Stanley Nickles.
 

gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
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I like it when I read things like "according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential". So in other words, it is a person who has been told to keep their mouth shut or lose their job, and they are so full of self-importance (or possibly so full of alcohol) that they can't keep it shut. :D
 

storage

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Jun 4, 2005
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Either I can buy a season of Scrubs and the Office when it starts again or I can find it in some other manner that will not benefit NBC at all.

Your call, NBC.
Just wondering, are certain people monitoring certain activity on certain sites providing certain content?

Has anybody been convicted for conducting said activity?
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
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Either I can buy a season of Scrubs and the Office when it starts again or I can find it in some other manner that will not benefit NBC at all.

Your call, NBC.
Yup this is exactly what I thought but not about Scrubs. :)
 

motulist

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Dec 2, 2003
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The Office is constantly in the top TV show downloads even when it is out of season.... There is no way a huge station like NBC would ever close a deal with something as big as iTunes.
The Office was in very real danger of being cancelled altogether until the show's iTunes purchases got popular and turned the show around into one of NBC's biggest hits. (read more about how iTunes saved The Office)

Seems like a stupid move by NBC to end its iTunes offerings since it has a proven track record of benefitting them greatly. I suspect that if they really do end their iTunes offerings now, they'll be back soon enough. In fact this all may just be a negotiating tactic.
 

siurpeeman

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Dec 2, 2006
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The Office was in very real danger of being cancelled altogether until the show's iTunes purchases got popular and turned the show around into one of NBC's biggest hits.

Seems like a stupid move by NBC to end its iTunes offerings given it already has a track record of benefitting them greatly. I suspect that if they really do end their iTunes offerings now, they'll be back soon enough. In fact this all may just be a negotiating tactic.
my question is, what's going to happen to all the people who purchase season passes to nbc shows if nbc decides to stop offering their shows in december?
 

breeze

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Dec 27, 2006
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Greed Part II - NBC may not renew contract...

Screw them too ....

They may not uderstand that consumers still have the right to record any tv content on their own for later watching. VCRs have modern equivalents and getting all digital files into the iPod is easy, so if we want a program we can still record it and it does not have to come from iTunes...Just like most iPod owners import their Cds into their iPods without the greedy record lables trying to get paid more than once, so too can the same be done for video content.

The loser will be NBC because other alternatives will quickly give rise to the issue of whether or not TV is that important and if it is, well, there's nothing the big networks can do to stop us from getting it for free for our own private use - without their approval.

I wouldn't risk alienating consumer sentiment and a found source of revenue...
 

floriflee

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2004
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dvds of tv shows don't come out until the season is over. tv shows on the itunes store are available for purchase the next day. to many, it is a big deal.
Case in point... I will be unable to watch the season premiere of the Office and I fully intend to buy it off iTunes after it comes out. I'm sure I could find it some other way, but then I'll hear about it from the hubby. :D
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
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Big deal.

You could always just buy the dvd of a particular show, and rip it to your Pod.
It can be somewhat of a big deal.

If you miss an episode of most big shows on NBC (like "Heroes"), iTunes has it available to download the next day for $1.99

That's way more convenient than having to wait 3 months after the seasons ends to pay $30.00 to buy the entire season on DVD just because you missed on episode. At least for me it is, especially in a series where missing an episode can cause the next episode to not make sense.

Maybe I'm being naive about Apple's motives for not wanting to let the studios charge more for certain programming, but I appreciated it. I wouldn't be surprised if NBC didn't want to charge $4.99 per episode of Heroes because it's so popular.

Update: I took so long posting this (sidetracked at work) that several others made the same point. Sorry about being redundant. :eek:
 

Zadillo

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Jan 29, 2005
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I think the funny thing about this and similar issues like the Universal music contract and the DRM-free stuff, is that the motivation behind it all is supposedly that these other companies are worried about Apple becoming a monopoly.

But normally, when people worry about a company becoming a monopoly, the concern is that they will start charging more money, etc. These companies are worried about Apple because they are using the popularity of iTunes and iPods to stick to their guns to NOT charge as much money as these content companies want.

Aside from that, it seems like this is the only option left to them. No-one else seems to be able to compete with Apple head-on (i.e. by offering a music service/video service and hardware that is really compelling), so the only option left is to try and harm Apple by simply taking their content away.

It's a bad call though. I think they must hope/assume that maybe everyone is going to rush out and buy Zunes now or something to be able to keep buying their content, at whatever ridiculous prices they want to charge, but it's more likely that people will keep their iPods and come up with other ways to get the content.
 

stevesidea

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2007
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hardball

NBC and Universal Music are trying to play hardball with apple. It seems really dumb. Why would I want to sign up to 12 different sites to buy my shows or music. I don't want to go to hbo.com and the universalmusic.com or nbcdigitalstuff.net and then sonyconnect... I want one easy store. That's how grocery stores work! The leading peanut butter manufacturer doesn't open up its own store to defend and control it's brand, they sell their stuff at the grocery store because it's easier and that's where the people who eat pb are.

But seriously, Mr. Jobs, would it kill you to be a little flexible on flexible pricing?
 

NightStorm

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Jan 26, 2006
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If BSG, Heroes, The Office, and My Name Is Earl is not available as a season pass for the upcoming season, I just saved myself a lot of money! Thanks NBC! :rolleyes:

I really want to pay you for these shows, but I'm not going to deal with 20 different online services to do so.
 

Zadillo

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Jan 29, 2005
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It can be somewhat of a big deal.

If you miss an episode of most big shows on NBC (like "Heroes"), iTunes has it available to download the next day for $1.99

That's way more convenient than having to wait 3 months after the seasons ends to pay $30.00 to buy the entire season on DVD just because you missed on episode. At least for me it is, especially in a series where missing an episode can cause the next episode to not make sense.

Maybe I'm being naive about Apple's motives for not wanting to let the studios charge more for certain programming, but I appreciated it. I wouldn't be surprised if NBC didn't want to charge $4.99 per episode of Heroes because it's so popular.
I don't think it's being naive about Apple's motives. One thing to keep in mind with Apple is that they do not see the iTunes store in and of itself as a profit center. They want to make enough money for it to be worth it, but more specifically they want to have a good source of content for iPod/etc. buyers (now iPhone, AppleTV, Mac, etc.). Their goal is to sell more iPods, iPhones, Macs, AppleTV's, etc. etc.

But Apple knows that there are limits to what people will spend - as it is, there are people who think the prices being charged right now ($1 a track, $2 an episode, $10 a movie, etc.) are too much - they know that raising that price even more is not going to help anyone (not Apple, not the users, not the content companies).
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
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But normally, when people worry about a company becoming a monopoly, the concern is that they will start charging more money, etc. These companies are worried about Apple because they are using the popularity of iTunes and iPods to stick to their guns to NOT charge as much money as these content companies want.
?? why do you think NBC is so stupid?

these type of negotiations are always about the percentage of revenue sharing, NBC might want a 7:3 rather than 5:5. There is no need to accuse NBC want users to pay more.