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October 13, 2015

Here's why NBC pulled its shows from iTunes

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 31st 2007 2:40PM

NBC logoWe told you a while back about NBC taking its shows off of Apple's iTunes service. And now NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker has disclosed why.

In an interview with The New Yorker's Ken Auletta, Zucker says that NBC wanted to test sell episodes of one of their shows for the higher price of $2.99. He was even going to let Steve Jobs pick which show to test, but Jobs refused to let them do it. So all of NBC's shows are going to be pulled off of iTunes by the end of the year. According to Zucker, NBC's shows were responsbile for 40% of iTunes video sales last year but didn't make much money off of it.

Previously, Apple had said that NBC wanted to charge $4.99 for their episodes. NBC now has shows on Amazon's Unbox and launched their new Hulu service with FOX.

Zucker also said that he thinks that Apple has "destroyed the music world" because of the rates they have set up on the service. Something tells me Zucker won't be getting a Christmas cards from Jobs this year.

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NBC isn't interested in the customer OR the market. They're interested in their bottom line. Sure, now the shows are free, because NBC is getting advertising dollars for the ads that play on-line in the middle of the shows.

Once Hulu is established, there will probably be 1 price for shows with ads & another for shows without ads - more ways to make money. NBC wouldn't be having ratings OR money problems if they would listen to their customers and put on some decent programming! Folks get tired of spinoffs & cheap reality shows.

November 03 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It all boils down to which suit you believe more. Both are going to try and paint their company in the best light possible. Since this is the second or third story that we've heard out of the NBC camp I'm leaning towards jobs and co.

The only thing that really matters is that once again we're getting the short end of a corporate pissing contest. I still don't understand what NBC's cost was in the whole thing. They're the ones so worried about the market, they should of let the market decide. Keep their shows on iTunes and launch hulu.

November 01 2007 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D Colin

So this is what I don't get--
NBC wanted to charge $2.99, Apple wanted to keep prices at the set $1.99 price. NBC didn't like that, so they then chose not to continue with Apple after their contract was up- Apple cut them loose early. Okay- then NBC put their shows for free on the NBC website and now with this Hulu. Plus they have Bionic Woman and Life on their sister channels (SciFi/USA). HMMM, why do you wanna charge more NBC, if you just give them away anyways. Doesn't make sense to me.

I think $2.99 is to expensive and wouldn't buy a 1/2 hour or hour show for that price. As it is, I'd only pay for a show at $1.99 every once in awhile. I've bought a few shows if I've missed it, or had DVR problems.
I don't have Apple TV so I'd still be watchin' it on my 17inch-- and I like my big TV so I only buy a show if I really really needed it. If Apple TV was cheaper maybe I'd buy that and then buy shows for $1.99 more often. But at this time I can find CBS shows ONdemand, Bionic Woman/Life on other channels, --and I have a DVR and two VCRs for those really busy nights. Plus cable shows re air all the time, so I wouldn't buy those shows. So sure it be great if the cost of a 1/2 hour was $.99 and hour $1.99-- but it's fair enough as it is -- but Zucker $2.99 is crazy

and Zucker-- I've never bought as much music until iTunes. I buy whole albums, and just by song. I still buy actual cd's if it's like Madonna or Justin Timberlake or someone I really want the packaging for. But he's crazy to think they destroyed the music world

November 01 2007 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blair M

It doesn't really matter what the price is on iTunes because I refuse to pay for a video file with DRM restrictions or for a video file that, in no way, subsidizes future DVD costs.

October 31 2007 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WHO STILL BUYS SHOWS OFF ITUNES? I don't even have a freakin TV anymore I just watch'em online. Sites like networkreplay.com and tv-links.com have 100s of shows listed I'm not paying apple 1.99 or even a wooden nickle for something I can get for free...lol. Smart move NBC!

October 31 2007 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Giving away one pilot episode isn't the same as allowing content providers or the market to decide pricing. It's giving away the razor to sell you the blades. It is promtion and it has nothing to do with my argument.

October 31 2007 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eligio Rosa

I would consider the anti NBC rants reasonable if it want made by Apple fanboys.

October 31 2007 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Garrett

@royce — your argument's slightly flawed, iTunes actually gives away numerous episodes for free, the recent premier of Prison Break season 3 for instance.

October 31 2007 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The big media companies were/are very concerned that they've let a single store "control" their pricing. They've decided that they need to fracture the market again for both audio and video, hence the deals with amazon and others. On the audio side the consumer benefits because big media is temporarily willing to let go of DRM in order to get people purchasing from alternative stores. No such thing in video but you can stream for free.

Apple has their business model, big media has theirs. Only time will tell if big media can break Apple or if the power of the iPod and other apple produced hardware is enough to bring them back to iTunes, hat in hand, willing to agree to the single price model.

October 31 2007 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I often buy shows on itunes, it looks great on my ipod touch and it is a way of giving some money to the authors when they really need it like Jericho. Still it is true that 1.99$ is a bit expensive and I really don't understand how Apple choose their TV shows. There is all the famous FOX shows even Family guy since few weeks exept the one i wanted the most : The Simpsons. They are available on hulu and on fox website for Free so why not on itunes ? :(
About NBC that's really sad because i would have buy heroes season 2 ... i'll kept my money

October 31 2007 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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