iTunes debut for Scrubs

Written by Geoff Richards

March 30, 2006 | 10:33

Tags: #desperate-housewives #download #geoff #ipod #itunes #lost #music-store #richards #scrubs

Companies: #ebay #nbc

If commuters found the loud music blaring out of your headphones annoying on the Tube journey home each night, they're about to get even more aggreived as you cackle to yourself, with one of the funniest shows on TV now available for downloadable purchase on iTunes.

Thanks to a deal between NBC and Touchstone Television announced yesterday Scrubs, starring Chicken Little's Zach Braff, moves from the small screen to the even smaller screen of your iPod Video. Now in its fifth year, all recently broadcasted episodes of the current season can be bought for US$1.99 via the iTunes Music Store.

This is not only great news for fans of the series, but represents an interesting milestone in the emerging legal download market for television shows. While users have been able to download shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost for some time now, those shows are marketed and sold by their respective parent networks.

What is different about this new deal is that the production company, Touchstone Television, is owned by ABC / Disney yet because the show is distributed and broadcast by NBC in the United States, the downloadable episodes are being sold through NBC's storefront on iTunes - the first time such an arrangement has been made for a prime-time program.

So next time someone asks you to be quiet on a train, do them a favour and invite them to sit next to you and share the hilarity.

Unless you live outside the USA - domestic TV show downloads are restricted to iTunes USA. Of course, just as file sharing was the masses voting with their mice and revolting against haphazard scheduling and endless commercial breaks, there is a work around for this stifling restriction if you are "suitably motivated".

Simply buy a gift certificate for iTunes USA on eBay and you can bypass the checks that limit accounts to US credit card holders only. Once set up, you can then join a growing number of enthusiasts who run accounts on both sides of the Pond, paying for their digital media in both currencies. Copyright lawyers can stick that in their pipes and smoke it.

What do you think about this news - is it a relief that you can finally be legal instead of ripping Scrubs from Bit Torrent? Or are you worried that free-to-air broadcasts will soon become a thing of the past as everything is suddenly repackaged in 20-minute commercial-free chunks at two bucks a pop? Vent your spleen in our News Discussion forum.
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