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Summary:

Looks like Amazon.com (AMZN) is the big winner in the NBC vs. iTunes spat: NBC has decided that its content will appear on Unbox, Amazon’s digital video download service. Unbox customers can pay to download hit NBC shows such as The Office and Heroes, as well […]

Looks like Amazon.com (AMZN) is the big winner in the NBC vs. iTunes spat: NBC has decided that its content will appear on Unbox, Amazon’s digital video download service.

Unbox customers can pay to download hit NBC shows such as The Office and Heroes, as well as watch the pilot episodes of the upcoming Bionic Woman, Chuck, and Journeyman, for free starting Sept. 10.

NBC Universal and Apple (AAPL) last week became embroiled in a very public breakup, with many wondering what service would move to fill NBC viewers’ VOD needs. Despite the fact that the iTunes flap was supposedly (according to Apple) over price, NBC’s shows will retail on Unbox for $1.99 — the same as iTunes. (Unbox does offer up to a 30 percent discount if your purchase the entire season.)

The big loser in all of this? Mac users. Unbox only works with PCs and TiVos.

Is it just us, or were NBC TV shows available on Unbox prior to today? A quick search through Google cache reveals The Office up on Unbox as of Sept. 2. When asked for clarification, a spokesperson for NBCU replied via email: “Movies were up there. NBCU broadcast and cable content is new.” Yet one of our readers, when we asked you all Where Will You Watch NBC? last week, pointed out the availability of NBC shows on Unbox:

Jim wrote:
I tried watching Heroes on NBC.com but those ads annoyed me. I ended up downloading it from Amazon Unbox – it was cheaper than iTunes and in much better quality.

  1. Ironics isn’t it. Not only does this deal screw Apple, it screws us MAC users as well.

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  2. Unbox Works on TIVO ….goodbye Apple TV

    And to you Mac users you one again get pulled into Steve Jobs reality distortion field and his locked in proprietary hardware once again .

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  3. Ah, that explains why the quality of the full episodes on nbc.com have suddenly become much worse. I started watching (free, ad-supported) episodes of 30Rock at nbc.com a few months ago, and was able to view fairly high-quality, full-screen video. I looked again last night, and the episodes will now only show in a small window on screen. I’d guessing they intentionally coordinated this so as to not cannibalize Unbox sales.

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  4. The deal really screws Apple? for some reason I don’t think it hurts Apple as much as you think. Keep your eyes on iPod sales this Christmas and then come back and post.

    As for the stupid comment about proprietary hardware, are you telling me that Unbox isn’t using proprietary methods/technology to ensure the content isn’t “misused?” Both iTunes and Unbox have their pluses and minuses….

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  5. @Ghibertii the difference is Microsoft license their content protection technology to anyone willing to pay for it Apple doesn’t .

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  6. [...] thing, the joint venture between NBC U and News Corp (NWS). Outside competitors like YouTube and Amazon Unbox (AMZN) aren’t the only ones benefiting from Hulu’s delays (the latest estimate for a [...]

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  7. [...] which includes other partners BitTorrent, Guba, Netflix and others. Between this announcement, NBC going Unboxed and FOX firing a warning shot, one has to wonder when iTunes is going to fight back, or at least do [...]

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