Apple and NBC Universal battle it out

Written by Phil Cogar

September 3, 2007 | 04:30

Tags: #digital-distribution #downloads #itunes #movies #music #nbc-universal #tv-shows

Companies: #apple

The first shot was fired from NBC Universal. Only instead of hitting its target right in the middle of the chest, it ended up being a flesh wound that just rightly pissed off the target. The target? Apple.

What sounds only oh so familiar, NBC Universal is following suit of its sister company Universal Music Group and refuses to renew its contract with Apple to sell TV shows through the iTunes video store. It seems that NBC is just really unhappy that Apple refuses to charge more then the current $1.99 flat rate for videos through the service and wants to up the price up to $4.99.

In response to keeping the video service alive (just who in their right mind would pay $5 for a single episode?), Apple brought out the big cannon and fired back. Now Apple is refusing to carry any new episodes of any NBC show for the upcoming fall season.

The contract, which expires in December, would only make half of the season available on the service.

This means that new episodes of the hit series "Heroes" and "The Office" won't be available from iTunes later this month when the season starts ramping up... or could they? Contractual obligations could actually force Apple to still sell the videos but details aren't available for the time being.

New contract negotiations are underway but with Apple unwilling to budge on its pricing model, it's highly unlikely that anything will transpire.

By a show of hands, how many people get their fix of Heroes from the iTunes store? Ok, now how many of you have other sources to fill your cravings? Is this move going to hurt Apple in the long run as other studios could potentially follow suit or is NBC Universal shooting itself in the foot? Tell us your thoughts on the whole situation over in the forums or in the comment section below.
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