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Summary:

NBC Universal is saying it won’t renew an agreement to sell its television shows on Apple’s iTunes, according to the New York Times. NBC is iTunes’ No. 1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, with 40 percent of total downloads. The situation has a […]

NBC Universal is saying it won’t renew an agreement to sell its television shows on Apple’s iTunes, according to the New York Times.

NBC is iTunes’ No. 1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, with 40 percent of total downloads. The situation has a sad irony to it, in that my favorite NBC show, The Office, was said to be saved from being canceled last year due to its unexpected popularity on iTunes. I’d been planning to download it from iTunes like I had the last two seasons, but I guess I’ll have to make other plans.

Luckily, there are increasing numbers of legal outlets to find full episodes of NBC shows online — including the yet-to-launch project NBC is involved with, now called Hulu. Die-hard fans won’t have to look too hard to find another way. But it’s silly that the content isn’t available where people like to enjoy it.

NBC is reportedly demanding more flexibility in bundling its programming together, and talks with Apple are said to be continuing, so it’s possible the iTunes situation could turn around. The original deal doesn’t expire until December, so at least the 1,500 hours of current offerings (and possibly the new fall episodes?) will be available till then.

NBC’s move follows a similar one in July by Universal Music Group to drop its long-term arrangement to sell music on Apple’s terms.

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  1. Liz – Have fun watching on http://www.hulu.com.

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  2. This was coming with HULU when other video sites that signed with NBCU never gained traction and left iTunes with almost exclusive control over the online Video market , something the studios and networks want to avoid after seeing the what has happened to the record industry over fixed pricing when what they really want is variable pricing .

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  3. You would voluntarily subject yourself to the evil DRM-hell that iTunes is? I say we’re better off without it.

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  4. I know, pretty stupid of me, huh? I would never do the same thing for music. But TV shows I only want to watch once.

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  5. I can’t imagine that NBC would ever pull their programming from iTunes. It’d be such a stupid move. This has to be just a bargaining ploy. Apple is letting them to do this so that NBC can fill big and strong. In a month, there will probably be an announcement about how they’ve come to an agreement for a long term deal.

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  6. [...] August 31, 2007 at 10:45 AM PT | No comments There is a game of corporate chicken going on. Hours after NBC decided that it was going to pull its shows from the iTunes store at the end of this year, Apple (AAPL) [...]

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  7. “NBC is reportedly demanding more flexibility in bundling its programming together”

    When I first read this, I thought NBC might be thinking about dropping DRM. It turns out that when NBC doesn’t think it is making enough money they can demand more flexibility but when consumers demand it, they are pirates.

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  8. [...] Boots NBC Off iTunes There is a game of corporate chicken going on. Hours after NBC decided that it was going to pull its shows from the iTunes store at the end of this year, Apple (AAPL) [...]

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  9. [...] Thread: Where Will You Watch NBC? Apple and NBC are making competing immature proclamations — “no, I broke up with you!” — to let the world know that the [...]

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  10. [...] the hate for iTunes is spreading further. Following Universal, NBC announced that it will no longer utilize Apple iTunes to deliver its content. NBC’s portfolio includes [...]

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