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NBC will offer its top television shows as ad-supported downloads for up to a week after broadcast on a new service called “NBC Direct” that will launch this fall, the network is announcing today. It seems we’re not the only ones scratching our heads waiting for […]

NBC will offer its top television shows as ad-supported downloads for up to a week after broadcast on a new service called “NBC Direct” that will launch this fall, the network is announcing today. It seems we’re not the only ones scratching our heads waiting for this whole Hulu 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 private beta is also October of this year). In the interim, both NBC U and News Corp are launching their own competitors to their joint venture.

MySpace has been putting serious resources into MySpace TV, buying rights to shows like quarterlife and the Lonelygirl15 season finale. Now NBC — which has been very publicly negotiating pulling its content off iTunes, leading many of us to wonder where we’ll watch our NBC shows — is creating a competitor of its own.

NBC said, via an emailed press release, that NBC Direct will offer Heroes, The Office, Life, Bionic Woman, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at launch. While at first, ad-supported Windows downloads will be the only option, automatic delivery, Apple (AAPL) and portable device compatibility, download-to-own, rental, and subscription models are also planned. NBC also said it was working on high-resolution versions delivered through a closed peer-to-peer network.

Update: NBC responds to this article via email:

“NBC Direct isn’t competing with Hulu, it’s complimentary and in-line with our strategy of offering consumers multiple ways to access our content. NBC Direct is an extension of NBC.com, so it’s no more of a competitor than NBC.com is today – which focuses on offering a deeper fan experience. Hulu is intended to provide a broad entertainment experience, of which NBC is one part, made available to a massive audience.”

  1. [...] As NewTeeVee notes, where does “NBC Direct” leave Hulu, NBC and News Corp.’s joint Internet TV venture? [...]

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  2. [...] episodes on Amazon Unbox, and presumably continues to offer streaming content from its website. And what’s to happen to Hulu.com, its YouTube-killing venture with News Corp.? It looks like someone can’t make up his mind, or [...]

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  3. [...] Newteevee is reporting that NBC is launching NBC Direct, a video on demand service where you will be able to get Heroes, The Office, Life, Bionic Woman, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at launch. While at first, ad-supported Windows downloads will be the only option, automatic delivery, Apple (AAPL) and portable device compatibility, download-to-own, rental, and subscription models are also planned. NBC also said it was working on high-resolution versions delivered through a closed peer-to-peer network. [...]

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  4. Hmmm…Interesting move on NBC’s part. Unfortunately, the selection they are delivering is extremely small. Is it possible the ad-support for these videos will be Hulu driven?

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  5. I very much anticipated this move, since they broke up with Apple.

    I think its a good move for them and of course the users wing. Read my entire post on this here:

    http://abhishek.tiwari.com/2007/09/20/nbc-direct-i-told-you-so/

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  6. NBC Direct could actually launch the collaborative effort consumers would seek out. Collaboration would allow for everyone to see a rise an ancillary market revenue for TV programming, but we all know the idea of sharing is scary for the bigwigs

    My thoughts on how here: http://zakstar.wordpress.com/

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  7. [...] Earlier this week, NBC said it will debut its VOD service in October (prompting Liz to wonder What about Hulu?). One thing is clear, as the annual fall TV season kicks off, this year networks don’t just [...]

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  8. [...] First it was NBC (GE), then ABC (DIS), and now FOX (NWS) is giving away some of its shows on iTunes. (NewTeeVee has made a list of places where you can find network television, it’s also organized the networks in terms of 1980s movie characters.) [...]

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  9. [...] NBC Launching VOD Service – What most Hulu?, NewTeeVee [...]

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  10. [...] release audio-only podcasts of their programming as well. Sure, they can still roll out their fancy Windows Media DRM-protected video-on-demand services. Just give us the audio podcast too. You know, for those days when you really can’t stand the [...]

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