NBC Universal Admits Defeat; Returns To iTunes

from the about-time dept

NBC Universal keeps realizing after the fact that making it more difficult to find your shows is never a winning strategy. So, almost exactly one year after refusing to re-sign Apple's iTunes contract, claiming that it wanted to charge higher prices, it appears that NBC has realized that it needs Apple and iTunes more than Apple needs NBC. Among the various announcements coming from Steve Jobs at the Apple press event this morning, the most interesting may be NBC Universal's capitulation and return to iTunes. For years, people have been explaining to NBC that the more places and ways it makes its content available, the better, but NBC has struggled with that concept, preferring to control every aspect of its shows. At least it's starting to step back from that position.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:02pm

    Once they've been to gay Paris...

    It'll be interesting to see if all the people who had no choice but to 'pirate' NBC shows the past season come back.

     

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  2.  
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    GeneralEmergency, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:13pm

    How sweeeet it is....

    ... to see the Peacock come crawling back.

    Muuuahhh-haaaa-hhaaaaaa!

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    He that believeth in me

     

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  4.  
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    Michael Britton, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    NBC Universal = Greed

    NBC Universal has always had its hand out for more money... case in point... on Comcast's OnDemand service (I'm sure it's the same on other cable providers' VOD systems) NBC is the ONLY network that charges you 99 cents to view their shows! ABC, CBS and the others provide the service for free.

     

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  5.  
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    black, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 5:11pm

    lol

    If you did a little checking you'd have found that it wasn't NBC, but Apple that gave in on the pricing arrangement. In the end the mighty dollar always wins.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    Re: lol

    If you did a little checking you'd have found that it wasn't NBC, but Apple that gave in on the pricing arrangement. In the end the mighty dollar always wins.


    link ?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 7:00pm

    HAHA

     

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  8.  
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    Michael Long, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 8:57pm

    Re: lol

    Not true. NBC wanted to make popular shows more expensive. What they got was $1.99 (same as everyone else), the ability to price old content at $0.99 (as others were doing), and the abilty to charge a buck more for HD (high-def) content (same as Apple already does for HD movie rentals).

    So no Hereos or The Office for $4.99. No bundles of Hereos and Coupling. No advanced DRM. No limits on the number of iPods/iPhones.

    In short, other than HD, NBC is right back where they started.

     

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  9.  
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    Dan, Sep 9th, 2008 @ 11:47pm

    They might as well sell Law and Order to ABC and turn off the lights. No one will care.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 5:02am

    Does NBC

    Have any shows anyone watches? I admit I dont watch much TV, but it seems to me the days of Sienfeld and Friends are long past. Maybe NBCs problem is not so much that people cant access thier content as much as people dont want their content.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 6:30am

    Re: Does NBC

    Ummmm... The Office...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 6:47am

    Ummm...

    Is it me or do you even do research? Have you read the cnet link Mike? Sounds to me like Apple lost. Nice spin though. You always try. Turns out you might need more than one article to prove your point.

     

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  13.  
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    NPGMBR, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: lol

    Exactly, I read a competing artile on CNet saying that it was Apple crawling back to NBC. I don't know which one is right but someone is wrong.

     

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  14.  
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    NPGMBR, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    Re: Ummm...

    Its definitely Apple that caved. I found another article on the NYTimes confirming it. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/09/apple-offers-networks-more-price-options-for-tv-shows/

    I think the author needs to check on this and update his article if he can confirm.

     

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  15.  
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    Lo, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    Gotta side with those who say Apple caved. A key line from the Cnet article: "A source close to the negotiations said that under the old terms, Apple wouldn't allow NBC to charge less for shows. This meant that selling catalog titles for 99 cents couldn't have happened."

    Apple may be a pioneer, but it's not necessarily always the good guy. Why is it that producers such as NBC are assumed to be the bad guy?

    Mike's criticized NBC because of their handling of web streaming of Olympic events. But to encourage such producers to test and adapt new distribution and business models, they don't seem to get any credit for even incremental change.

     

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  16.  
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    LostSailor, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    Oops. My attribution of the above was truncated.

     

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  17.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 10th, 2008 @ 10:38am

    Re: Ummm...

    Is it me or do you even do research?

    NBC demanded doubling of prices for shows to $4.99. They did not get that. And I quote:

    "The deal announced Tuesday by Apple CEO Steve Jobs represents a victory for Apple and an about-face for NBC, which yanked its programs from iTunes in August 2007 after complaining about Apple's inflexibility in determining the prices of the TV shows it sells....

    "NBC's programming will sell for the same prices as other TV shows sold through iTunes...."

     

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  18.  
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    LostSailor, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Ummm...

    NBC demanded doubling of prices for shows to $4.99. They did not get that. And I quote

    From just the San Francisco Chronicle article which is heavily loaded with quotes from Apple. There is only one very short paraphrased remark from NBC that they did not demand "doubling of prices for shows to $4.99" (which is not really an accurate quote, in which apple claimed NBC demanded a doubling of the wholesale price of shows that would have resulted in Apple charging $4.99; a slight difference there).

    Other articles, like the Cnet article paint a different picture.

    NBC Shows, according to your cited article, were nearly 40% of iTune's video traffic, and Apple wanted to control the wholesale price. That is, they didn't want to pay NBC any more for very popular content they were selling. NBC apparently (and rightly, IMHO) said, "let's talk about it" Apple said no, NBC said "well, say goodbye to a huge chunk of revenue."

    Now they've worked it out. NBC isn't the bad guy, and wasn't necessarily defeated. Taking reporting via corporate press release is also usually not the best idea.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Does NBC

    "Ummmm... The Office..."

    Sorry never seen it. I do remember the BBC show though, it was pretty funny. Again though, I have to admit I dont watch much TV anymore.

     

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  20.  
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    DavidB, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Okay, now if NBC would get off their butts with HD and catch up with the rest of the networks! Amazes me that studio shows like "Deal or No Deal" or "America's Got Talent" that just SCREAM to be produced in HD are not, yet CBS can shoot/produce a show in the jungles of Africa in HD (i.e Survivor) and "American Idol" has been in HD for at least the past two seasons.

     

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  21.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ummm...

    Some good clarification:

    http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080911/qotd-32/

    NBC did not get what they were asking for. They got the same terms everyone else has.

     

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