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Media (Apple) Businesses Media Television Apple

NBC Universal Drops iTunes 691

Posted by Zonk
from the taking-their-ball-and-going-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NBC Universal has cancelled its iTunes contract and will withdraw the television shows it currently offers through the service in December, when the current contract expires. This is a huge blow for the service, as NBC is the controlling interest in Apple customer-friendly intellectual properties like The Office, Battlestar Galactica, My Name is Earl and Heroes. From the article: 'The decision to withdraw the content follows disagreements between the two firms. Apple is thought to have rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing. Apple was informed of NBC Universal's decision late last night. The report states that neither Apple nor NBC Universal would comment on the matter, but said they continue to talk, "free of acrimony".'" Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
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NBC Universal Drops iTunes

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  • by ShaunC (203807) * on Friday August 31, 2007 @09:57AM (#20423923)

    Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

    Uh, watching it for free over-the-air?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by svendsen (1029716)
      Ooooooooooooo you used logic and common sense in your first post....you're gonna get modded flamebait...ooooooo

      In other news man who can not watch a TV show does NOT die of cancer.....
    • by MrDoh1 (906953) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:00AM (#20423973) Journal
      Buying them legally from a store might also be another idea, novel as it may be.
      • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:06AM (#20424073) Homepage
        It is a pretty novel idea. Most new shows aren't available like that. This particular show didn't even have that option until this week.

        What about the rest of the NBC lineup?
      • Buying them legally from a store might also be another idea, novel as it may be.

        Let me offer a variation on that. Buy them legally from a different online store. Why is it that only Apple can offer such products, why is a defacto monopoly by Apple OK? If NBC doesn't like Apple's terms they should backout, contract with a competitor who they can come to terms with, or start their own.

        Personally I see history repeating itself. Apple pioneers something, validates the product or business model, develops
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)
      Sorry NBC... I'm too far away from your transmission tower.

      My suburban HOA won't allow for an antenna that can tune in your signal well enough.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wanderer1 (47145)
        You could stop watching the show. It's not an entitlement.

        There are other businesses to support with your attention. That's my point. But breaking the US law (no matter how unfair the law is, and assuming you're in the US) shouldn't be the alternative. It isn't working. It's not a form of civil disobedience that seems to have the effect we need in order to call attention to unfair/unjust law.

        W

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:20AM (#20424249) Homepage
          When the law is STUPID, it should be ignored.

          We are AMERICANS, not sheep.

          I get the show "legitmately". I still like to download it due to the fact that DirectTV over compresses it's network channels.

          In the end, it boils down to wanting to arrest people for eating their egg from the wrong end.
        • But breaking the US law (no matter how unfair the law is, and assuming you're in the US) shouldn't be the alternative.

          Why not? It's not exactly murder or rape, now is it? There are so, so many laws on the books bought and paid for by the rich, for the benefit of the rich. I just don't feel compelled to obey them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by iapetus (24050)
            Wait, we get to choose which laws we obey now? Sweet.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)

          You could stop watching the show. It's not an entitlement.
          You could stop watching the show, but to NBC that's no different than pirating it.

          I wouldn't be surprised to see NBC come crawling back to iTunes. NBC will miss the money they were making on iTunes. People don't schedule their lives around TV any more.

      • by gozar (39392) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:11AM (#20424141) Homepage

        Sorry NBC... I'm too far away from your transmission tower. My suburban HOA won't allow for an antenna that can tune in your signal well enough.

        They can't do that [fcc.gov]:

        The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.
        • by amper (33785) * on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:45AM (#20424649) Journal
          Here's a nice PDF from Uncle Charlie:

          http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/consumerdish. pdf [fcc.gov]

      • by mhall119 (1035984) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:54AM (#20424819) Homepage Journal
        So you're willing to violate NBC's copyright, but not willing to violate your HOA rules?

        How is it that your HOA can restrict your means of obtaining this content for free, and you're OK with that, but NBC pulls one venue for obtaining this content for a fee, and you feel violated?
    • by Petey_Alchemist (711672) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:05AM (#20424055) Homepage
      I think it's a fair point though. The studios, rather than hitting every market they can--DVD, iTMS, cable--have decided to forego certain sectors of the demand curve in order to curve demand as they want.

      It's a battle between how studios want to deliver their content and how consumers want to receive it. Before the web, there weren't options. Now there are, and the studios have to realize that this is a battle they will eventually lose. They could offer cheap, protected, legal access to their content, but instead they're daring users to circumvent the law. Aquinas noted centuries ago that human law cannot compel the obedience of conscience. It's not like they don't know they're going to lose--they just don't want to realize it. Screw 'em.
      • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:11AM (#20424147)
        They could offer cheap, protected, legal access to their content, but instead they're daring users to circumvent the law.

        You mean like offering the shows for viewing on their website? Oh wait, they do that already. But people like Zonk have decided that that's not good enough for him, so instead he'll resort to pirating it. I seriously doubt Zonk was purchasing the show from iTMS when it was available anyways.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:24AM (#20424305)
          As other posters have rightly pointed out, the free/ad-supported shows streamed from the website basically suck big rocks, quality-wise. Actually, watching a few eps of Heroes that way was what got me to buy the whole season off of iTunes -- because I wanted it with good quality, and no ads. I'm not morally outraged that NBC has pulled it -- they're welcome to cut their throats however they like. But I probably will d/l full-rez, ad-free video instead of watching the crap teaser-quality stuff on the NBC site. Yes, as the grandparent says, NBC is effectively daring me to do this, whether you like it or not. As others have pointed out, this is just market and technological reality.

          By the way, do you know Zonk personally, that you're in a position to call him a liar? Or are you just being a knee-jerk stuffed shirt DRM apologist and going on the attack?
        • by NtroP (649992) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:54AM (#20424815)

          You mean like offering the shows for viewing on their website? Oh wait, they do that already. But people like Zonk have decided that that's not good enough for him, so instead he'll resort to pirating it. I seriously doubt Zonk was purchasing the show from iTMS when it was available anyways.

          I can not get television, cable or satellite TV where my house is situated in Alaska. I can barely get 1 Mb/s DSL. I have chosen to go the route of purchasing my shows off iTunes and watching them on my AppleTV. I do NOT want to watch the shows in a fucking browser window, in Flash or stutter-streamed, on my laptop! Those shows that I am interested in that I can't get legally from iTunes, I choose to get "illegally" from Bittorrent or from friends/coworkers who are able to record the shows. I put illegally in quotes because in this case it's truly a victimless crime. I want to pay for it, but they won't let me so I'm not taking revenue away from them. I am also not re-sharing it (any more than I can help since I don't seed with bittorrent) so I'm not keeping anyone else from buying it.

          If the greedy fucks at NBC don't want my $2 per episode for Heroes and the Office, etc., I'll be glad to pirate them and won't feel the least bit guilty about it. I know that I don't have a "right" to watch the show, but if it's a show that interests me and everyone else is talking about it at work, I want to watch it - close to the time they watch it, not a season later when it comes out on DVD. The only reason I won't be able to watch it now is that they want to charge me more for content that is more restricted/broken than before and Apple is rightfully calling bullshit. Since I only download the shows to my iPod and AppleTV, restrictions aren't a big deal for me (it's the principal of the thing!), but I am not willing/can't afford to pay more than $2 for an episode and if they bundle crap I don't want, I won't buy it at all - I *will* pirate it. Sue me!

          They are just proving over and over again that pirated goods are far superior to their DRM'd crap anyway. It's cheaper, often available sooner, in better quality and gives me the freedom to use it as I see fit. They are driving *me*, a grown adult and professional, their paying customer, away to piracy. I say good riddance to them. Stick to your guns Apple! I want to buy shows a-la-cart if I want and I am not willing to pay more! I will reward those studios that see the light. The rest can take their chances with draconian DRM, end-to-end Vista-like content controlled crap and the like. The deserve what they will get!

          Any one have a contact email for these pricks?

          • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday August 31, 2007 @11:41AM (#20425459) Journal

            If the greedy fucks at NBC don't want my $2 per episode for Heroes and the Office, etc., I'll be glad to pirate them and won't feel the least bit guilty about it. I know that I don't have a "right" to watch the show, but if it's a show that interests me and everyone else is talking about it at work, I want to watch it - close to the time they watch it, not a season later when it comes out on DVD
            So in other words, you want whatever you feel like, whenever you want it, and if you can't get it legally you don't care how you get it. This is known as throwing your toys out of the pram where I live.

            I hope you're lying about the work thing and are only ten years old, because to call your attitude "adolescent" does a disservice to normal teenagers.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by amper (33785) *
            I can not get television, cable or satellite TV where my house is situated in Alaska. I can barely get 1 Mb/s DSL.

            I have to assume here that you didn't move to, or remain in, Alaska because of the excellent quality of the communications services, so I have to wonder why it is that you're so pissed off about this. I can think of any number of advantages to living in Alaska that make good TV service pale in comparison, and I'm sure if you put your mind to it, that you can, too.
            But seriously, you're going to t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by heinousjay (683506)
        They allow you to watch the episode for free on their website. How much more access do you need, exactly?

        It doesn't matter how entitled you feel to the entertainment. The constitution grants the copyright holder the right to make the distribution decisions. No matter how much you want that entertainment, circumventing that right is an infringement.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by phcrack (207416)
          I'm currently based overseas, without access to decent television. Since they don't allow you to watch them online unless you're in the US, iTunes was my only option for watching the shows while still giving back to the people making them. Americans complain and complain about people overseas pirating stuff, but continue to refuse to sell it overseas. I figure, if you don't give someone a way to pay for the stuff you're selling, what right do you have to complain when they don't.

          I make things for a living
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:06AM (#20424067)
      My over-the-air reception is crap. (I get a few channels with a lot of static.) My HD over-the-air is even worse. (I get 1 channel, sometimes, with a lot of corruption in the video and audio.)

      I don't have any faith that this will get better because most people have cable (including me) and there really -isn't- another choice. (Satellite and cable are the same thing by different methods.)

      In reality, the other options are:

      A) Wait for it on DVD.
      B) Watch it streamed from the site in a little 2" by 2" box.
      C) Download it illegally and without commercials and in full quality, watchable wherever and whenever I like.

      Gee... Wonder which most people would pick? If it wasn't for the waiting part, I'd cancel my cable service and buy the DVDs instead. I figure it'll cost the same per year (I only like a few shows) and it'll be better quality and more reliable. I just don't want to wait 6 months or a year and then try to talk to my friends about the eps... It doesn't work.
      • by heinousjay (683506) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:18AM (#20424229) Journal
        Gee... Wonder which most people would pick?

        Probably watching it on DVD. Plenty of us realize that by pirating our entertainment, we essentially have cut out the ability for them to make more. Beyond that, lots of us also realize we aren't entitled to free entertainment, and frankly, it's not so important as to be a requirement.

        In my opinion (here's where I become an asshole) it takes a particularly immature mind to believe that downloading commercially sold entertainment in an illegal fashion is somehow the morally superior alternative.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Shrubbman (3807)

          In my opinion (here's where I become an asshole) it takes a particularly immature mind to believe that downloading commercially sold entertainment in an illegal fashion is somehow the morally superior alternative.


          But in all fairness, the way I read it he wasn't even claiming it to be the morally superior method of watching, just the most convenient.
        • by garcia (6573) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:48AM (#20424699) Homepage
          Probably watching it on DVD. Plenty of us realize that by pirating our entertainment, we essentially have cut out the ability for them to make more.

          That makes no fucking sense whatsoever, especially for shows on NBC. I could see if you were talking about cable network shows like Rescue Me or Monk but you're talking about free OTA shows here. If "pirating" NBC shows is somehow affecting their sponsors, then DVR users are also pirates in your eyes or is that somehow different?

          I have no sympathy for the networks losing money on this. They need to come up with less expensive shows (no one should be paid $1+ million an episode for ANY TV show).
        • by mgblst (80109) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:59AM (#20424889) Homepage
          I will never buy another DVD, the DVD is one of the most annoying formats ever. At least with VHS I can fast forward past the boring warnings.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Myopic (18616)
            Um, mods, that post isn't funny, it's insightful. I own exactly zero DVDs, because of exactly that reason. On the flipside, I own maybe two or three hundred CDs, lovingly archived in my closet, because that is an open, free, high-quality format. I have furthermore never paid for crippled content from iTMS, but happily download the podcasts (bonus that they're free).

            Look, if I pay for something, I expect to own it and I expect that it will do whatever I tell it to do within its functionality range. Any produ
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kidgenius (704962)
        Umm....how about:

        D) Get an antenna and view NBC via OTA hi-def?


        There are options here, and they aren't that tough if you are really don't want cable, yet you want to watch Heroes.

    • Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

      Uh, watching it for free over-the-air?

      Try and get on NBCUs and News Corps http://www.hulu.com/ [hulu.com] if you want to watch ad supported network shows online .

      HULU is one of the biggest reasons NBC are dropping iTunes like a stone and they also don't want iIunes and Steve Jobs dominating the online video space .

    • by reanjr (588767) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:42AM (#20424589) Homepage
      Or on XBox Live. They just started putting episodes of Heroes up there last week. Seems NBC already found a new channel to replace iTunes...
    • I watch NBC quite a bit, but not for any of the shows mentioned in this story. Last season I purchased a USB tuner stick and a copy of EyeTV. Forget watching low-res iTunes versions of the shows. I recorded them and watched them in full HD quality. Granted, each show after trimming out commercials to bring it down to about 44 minutes will barely fit on one single-layer DVD but my god they look gorgeous on a cinema display.

      If I happened to miss recording one I could always either wait for it to rerun o

  • by heinousjay (683506) on Friday August 31, 2007 @09:57AM (#20423927) Journal

    Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
    Watch it over the air as NBC is a broadcast station? Failing that, watch it on NBC.com? Failing that, buy it on DVD?
  • Please move along.......
  • by Kierthos (225954) on Friday August 31, 2007 @09:57AM (#20423933) Homepage
    But I watched most of Season 1 of Heroes on their official site. Here's hoping Season 2 continues that way.
  • Use an Antenna (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaguar777 (189036) * on Friday August 31, 2007 @09:58AM (#20423955) Journal

    Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
    I know you meant to imply your only alternative would be illegally downloading the show, but you have plenty of options if you really must watch Heroes.

    1) Use an Antenna. It's called broadcast TV.
    2) Go to a friends house. You do have friends right?
    3) Go out to a public place that has Heroes on their TV.
    4) Wait to buy the DVD's.

    Most of these options don't even involve paying NBC.

    Yes, a little hyperbole in my reply, but no more than "Guess what my only alternative will be".
    • Don't be a jerk, sittin' in you chair, suckin' on the glass teat and munching Fritoes, go out and have some fun instead.

    • Re:Use an Antenna (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:10AM (#20424117) Homepage Journal
      1. What if you can get an NBC station with your Antenna. I know that I can not where I live.
      2. I think your friends will get a little ticked off with the weekly vists.
      3. HUH????
      4. So I need to wait until the end of the season.

      I think NBC is makeing a huge mistake.
      1. More DRM on iTunes? People you BROADCAST IT OVER THE AIR. I make DRM free recordings of your shows on my computer NOW! They Torrents are out NOW. They are not coming from iTunes.
      2. Flexible pricing? You mean jack up the pricing. Oh well. As I said I can get it for free now. I guess I will start recording more shows with my computer and buy less with iTunes.

      Dumb...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by heinousjay (683506)
        2. I think your friends will get a little ticked off with the weekly vists.

        You have pretty shitty friends if they can't handle you for one hour a week. Or you're a pretty shitty friend. Either way.
  • by Thwomp (773873) *
    So what will happen to people's existing purchases after the cut-off date? Will they continue to work or will Apple just do what Google has done with their premium video service?
    • by monomania (595068)
      They will continue to work as this was not a subscription model AFAIK (I have purchased other video but not NBC shows but I believe the model is the same). I would be willing to bet whatever download-venue NBC goes with (if any) the issue will be, rather, will future downloads work as well.
    • by Ajehals (947354)
      Utterly uniformed speculation follows:

      I would hope that Apple is operating in a manner that ensures that their customers are able to make use of their purchases as long as the Apple service related to media distribution continues. I was under the impression that the issues with Google where that they were dismantling the infrastructure that supported their media offering and were therefore unable to honour their agreements with both their customers and the media producers. I would say that this shows that
  • NBC will provide alternative means to pay for and download your shows. Expect a M$-based solution, which will provide the DRC they're looking for.
    • by Ajehals (947354)
      Digital Rights Control?
      Digital Rights Cancellation?
      Draconian Restrictions (against our) Customers?
      Derideo (mei) Rectum Carmen (-- I know its a poor attempt)
  • Risky (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129)
    While its a blow to Apple, Universal is turning it's back an a huge revenue source. I think Apple is number 3 in all music sales right now. This should be good! Pop some popcorn, Folks, a corporate UFC is about to ensue!
  • ...somehow I don't agree with you if you're insisting your only alternative is to steal it. You could sign up for cable. You could wait for the dvd's to come out and buy them. It's ridiculous to assume that stealing is the only option, as well as a right one. You could also just not watch the shows...
  • These sort of things will continue to happen because both apple and NBC (or insert whatever label/network) are trying to be the distributor and reap the profits that business model. Unfortunately for NBC, Apple has beat them in the new order of distribution and they will loose a ever expanding market if they don't work with them, but unfortunately for Apple the labels and networks still control the content. Sooner or later somebody will figure out how to control (or at least work with) both. I suppose in a
  • Only Alternative (Score:3, Insightful)

    by popo (107611) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:05AM (#20424063) Homepage

    Buy DVD's?

    Rent from NetFlix?

    Watch it on your Xbox 360?

    Or use that crazy thing called an "antenna"?

  • by kiwioddBall (646813) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:09AM (#20424113) Homepage
    Lets face it, Universal own the content, and content rules. They haven't been able to distribute the content how they want with Apple, so they are calling Apples bluff. The thing is, if they market another service well enough (and it does come down to marketing) and that service has the content, then they will get exactly what they want - more than one service selling prime content and therefore a competitive market for selling content meaning better margin for them.

    Universal are in a losing situation by having their content in only one marketplace.

    As much as I love Apple and their ethics, it was overdue. The only way that Universal can lose is if they fail to market the new service they have selling the content.

    OP is a bit naive thinking he won't be able to buy Universal content any more!!
  • Apple is thought to have rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing.

    Now, assuming I bothered to buy these things and not just do without or wait until they are out on DVD, those are some mixed offerings.

    More restrictive DRM would have been bad and caused more issues for legitimate customers (but this is Slashdot and we know that already).

    Flexible pricing could have been a good thing, though, assuming it wasn't "we want the ability to flex the price so most episo

  • Clearly he means that he'll have to emigrate to the UK where it's broadcast on TV at 9pm.

    Still, if that's what it takes to see your favourite shows, that's what commitment is all about.
     
    • by IBBoard (1128019)
      You can't really expect Americans to do that, can you? That'd involve them also having to pay that terrible TV tax that we call the "TV License".

      Yes, it's so terrible to pay a little over £100 per year to be able to watch Heroes and other good quality TV without adverts or interruptions (because Heroes in the UK is on BBC and our license fees fund the BBC and their no-adverts content, in case people didn't know).

      Now if only BBC could get the Formula 1 back on so we didn't have ad breaks in the middle
  • Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

    In a similar veign, with BSG going into its final year, what are us cable/satellite-free BSG fans to do?
  • Err, try again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nodamnnicknamesavial (1095665) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:14AM (#20424183)
    "Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?"

    Getting cable.

    I'm broke, and I have CHOSEN to not get a job, so my only alternative is to steal? Rubbish.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:19AM (#20424231)
    I'm sure there will be other alternatives like antenna or going somewhere else but the fact remains:

    1) I paid for a ton of NBC shows on itunes the last few seasons, literally spending hundreds of dollars. I did this because I liked having them in reasonably high def, commercial free, reasonably close to the time of initial broadcast and using a program I already was comfortable with little or no work on my part past the initial purchase.
    2) I had planned to do it again.
    3) Now I probably will either not watch the shows at all. The next most likely solution is to download a torrent.

    Its not that there arn't other ways to watch it. Its that none of the other ways to watch it provide the right mix of convienence, quality and lack of interruption. Having the shows on itunes didn't give me exactly what I wanted, but it gave me enough that I was willing to pay for it. If I have to install another program(and its associated additional drm and god knows what else), or put up with ads, or put up with low quality broadcasts, or put up with having to watch it at a specific time, or put up with a cable provider/dvr, or wait 6-18 months for a DVD or any of that other stuff, then its just not worth the time or the money.

    I want it on my computer, when its released, with minimal hassle and no interruption. For that service, I'm willing to pay. Otherwise, its not worth it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:19AM (#20424239)
    Watch it for free over-the-air? No such thing in Canada (the channels list is pathetic).
    Watch it free on NBC's website? No, they filter IPs and only allow americans.
    Buy it on the iTunes Store? Nope, we still don't have movies and TV shows in the Canadian store.

    My only other options are either cable or satellite, and both are forcing us to pay for "packages" that include 200 channels we don't want to get the 10 channels we want.

    Guess what's my other alternative?
    • by OverlordQ (264228)
      Guess what's my other alternative?

      NOT WATCHING IT.

      God damn I'm tired of these replies, last time I checked there wasn't an inalienable right to get every single TV show you wanted whenever you want it when you want it. So you can get it where you live? Well then consider $TVSHOW an opportunity cost for living where you do.

      Buck up and stop whining about it.
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:19AM (#20424241)
    Why make billions, when we can make..... millions?
  • by mmeister (862972) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:19AM (#20424243)
    One of the reasons given was that NBC Universal wanted to add more restrictive DRM to the shows and Apple said no.

    If Universal would win that battle, then WE ALL lose out. Remember, this is the same network that f*cked with its time schedule so shows ended at 8:31 and such to try and f*ck Tivo owners. That shows you just what they think about the viewer. I'm sure the new DRM ideas would have us in mind, as in how can we make this experience more painful for the content viewer.

    This will just make it more likely that I won't watch NBC shows. I am personally tired of networks dictating what time and where I should be watching their content. That's so last century thinking. Yeah, you can go to NBC.com, if you don't mind being tethered to streaming content, which sucks if you're not on the net when you have time/want to watch a show.

  • Accuracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by samkass (174571) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:24AM (#20424291) Homepage Journal
    I know I'm not new here, but I'd just like to say that the article is self-contradictory. NBC is not pulling anything off of iTunes for months at the earliest, and contract negotiations to keep them on the site continue.

    In other words, this article can be summarized as "NBC, looking for some leverage in ongoing negotiations with Apple over iTunes, has called reporters to float the idea of pulling out of iTunes altogether."
  • by p3d0 (42270) on Friday August 31, 2007 @10:25AM (#20424309)

    NBC is the controlling interest in Apple customer-friendly intellectual properties
    How about "NBC owns the copyright to Apple-customer-friendly shows"?
  • Addiction much? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by svendsen (1029716)
    How sad is it to have a topic on Slashdot where the poor person can get their TV show fix and must get advice?

    Seriously it's a TV show and that's it. It's a sad state to be in when missing a TV show causes such issues (I have seen it so much in real life, I missed this show or this sports event and people get VERY angry).

    The bigger question is why are you so addicted to a show? Folks it's only a TV show
  • I just noticed that all the shows on my DVR (Rescue Me, The Riches, Burn Notice, Psych, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) are not major network shows. How come FX, USA and the like have better-written shows than the big networks? I can't remember the last time I watched a show on NBC.
  • Meh... (Score:3, Funny)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Friday August 31, 2007 @11:18AM (#20425145)

    Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes.

    Hey, Apple, I'm in the UK and buying Heroes or BSG (assuming they were available on UKiTunes) as low-res, DRM-infested downloads would cost about the same as getting the shiny DVDs from Amazon - better quality (and only the DRM equivalent of a wet paper bag that is CSS).

    If a series is worth paying money for, its worth waiting for the DVDs (and you'd probably want a whole season) so I don't really give a stuff.

    Where iTunes might come in is if you have missed an episode but that doesn't really figure if you're not following it on broadcast anyway.

  • by blueZhift (652272) on Friday August 31, 2007 @11:35AM (#20425393) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that the real dispute boils down to NBC Universal wanting to charge more for shows and bundle popular shows with other, presumably not so popular, shows. I don't really want to pay more for shows, don't they get enough via my cable fees already? And I don't want to have to download some other, probably horrid, show to get the one I really want. So I guess that makes Apple the hero in my book for standing up for what I, the customer, wants. Granted, Apple wants to sell more iPods, but I think NBC Universal is clearly ignoring what their customers really want.

    I personally don't want to resort to means of dubious legality to watch the shows I like, so I simply won't be watching if seeing what I want becomes an unpalatable experience. I remember a number of years ago having a problem with my cable service, but once I threatened to cancel the service altogether, they quickly came around and fixed the problem. I suppose NBC Universal will have to learn this the hard way.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Friday August 31, 2007 @12:09PM (#20425819)
    http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/08/31itunes.h tml [apple.com]

    "Apple® today announced that it will not be selling NBC television shows for the upcoming television season on its online iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). The move follows NBC's decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode."
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Friday August 31, 2007 @01:55PM (#20427079) Homepage
    Looks like Apple is playing hardball too.

    Apple® today announced that it will not be selling NBC television shows for the upcoming television season on its online iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). The move follows NBC's decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.

    "We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers."


    From Apple press release. [apple.com]

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