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NBC returns to iTunes for 65 million viewers and HD action

post #1 of 58
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After pulling its shows from iTunes over a dispute involving pricing and bundled content deals a year ago, NBC has signed back up to sell its TV shows to iPod users.

At today's "Let's Rock" event, Steve Jobs reported the partnership between Apple and NBC Universal is back on once again, with Apple now advertising 65 million account holders in iTunes, the largest source for paid TV downloads anywhere.

Last year, NBC content made up roughly 40% of all video downloads on iTunes. Critics complained that NBC's pullout would decimate iTunes' attempts to break into TV distribution.

NBC began its own efforts to market TV online, but after lackluster reception to its own solo efforts to sell or describer ad-sponsored content for free, as well as lukewarm interest in a variety of partner sites with other broadcasters, the company is now ready to return to Apple and offer its content to the largest online market for video.

The return of our shows to iTunes is terrific news for everyone who loves television and the ease and convenience of Apples iTunes, said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal. And now, by offering consumers a variety of new options, our fans have even more ways to enjoy our content.

Additional NBC Universal programming from the Oxygen, Telemundo, Mun2, and NBC Sports networks will be available on iTunes soon, while content from its NBC, USA Network, SCI FI Channel, Bravo, Sleuth and NBC News networks will be made available immediately. That includes show such as the award-winning and critically acclaimed Heroes, and the Emmy award-winning programs The Office and Battlestar Galactica.

NBC Universal will offer one free download from each of its top seriesin standard or HDduring the next two weeks. The premiere episodes of upcoming NBC shows, such as Knight Rider , My Own Worst Enemy and Kath & Kim will also be made available on iTunes a week before their broadcast premieres later in September and October, with subsequent episodes available the day after broadcast.

Apple also announced the availability of new HD TV content in iTunes, with new HD shows priced at $2.99 and existing standard-definition TV remaining at $1.99. Unlike the HD movies available on Apple TV, HD TV shows will be viewable on any iTunes-equipped Mac or PC. NBC will be among those offering HD TV content.

NBC is also making full episodes of several vintage television shows available on iTunes for $.99, including The A-Team, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Miami Vice, Kojak and the original Battlestar Galactica.
post #2 of 58
Glad to see NBC back on board!
post #3 of 58
yay! this is very good.
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post #4 of 58
As a boss at NBC how do you explain all the revenue you missed out on by leaving iTunes in the first place?? I'd love to know what made them think they had a substitute for iTunes waiting in the wings.
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post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

I'd love to know what made them think they had a substitute for iTunes waiting in the wings.

Hubris. It is really quite fashionable among the commissar class.
post #6 of 58
It's nice to win...

...But it is even better to have the content.
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post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

As a boss at NBC how do you explain all the revenue you missed out on by leaving iTunes in the first place??

Easy. You do it by saying the exact thing Jeff Zucker was quoted as saying in the article:

And now, by offering consumers a variety of new options, our fans have even more ways to enjoy our content.

He's obviously trying to spin it as if NBC won the battle, not Apple. The reason they left was because Apple wouldn't let them have "even more ways" to squeeze money out of their customers. He's just hoping nobody will remember that what they really wanted was higher pricing and multi-show bundling. HD shows weren't in the mix at the time. So really all Apple gave them was episodes of the A-Team for 99 cents. The same shows they had before are available for the same price as before. Pretty clear who cried "uncle."

Now if only those HD shows were just a wee bit cheaper. Better yet, we need rental TV shows for a lower price. Still, it's a great option for when my Comcast DVR scews up [again] and only records part of an episode of a show.
post #8 of 58
Interesting, because there's a rumor going around saying that Apple gave in a little, not NBC-Universal:

http://tinyurl.com/5jjw9d

Ultimately, we'll never know. In the end, this will help both parties.
post #9 of 58
HD to buy- FINALLY.
Thank you Hollywood/Jeff Zucker.
HD Movies to buy -next please.
post #10 of 58
is it irony that the banner ad at the bottom of the site is to "Fix low virtual memory" ??

lots of humble pie at NBC then

I should now swear, and call them names, but I won't.
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post #11 of 58
Weren't all the SD shows in 4:3 ratio? Are the HD shows widescreen?

Since only the Classic isn't in a fancy widescreen I hope that all shows, HD and SD, will be in a widescreen format, especially since most are aried that way now.
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post #12 of 58
Zucher is an idiot and finally realized it himself.

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post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

It's nice to win...

It's a win/win/win. (us, Apple and NBC).
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

As a boss at NBC how do you explain all the revenue you missed out on by leaving iTunes in the first place??

Moreso, they missed a HUGE opportunity to sell video from the Olympics, the biggest TV event of them all. They could have sold millions of copies of highlights from the games and opening ceremony, right when public interest was at its peak. But no, they decided to sell DVDs instead, which aren't in high def, and won't even ship until October.

If the board members of NBC/UNI had any sense they would boot Zucker out of the company for this colossal blunder.
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post #15 of 58
Interesting...

http://tinyurl.com/574ub8

I'd like to know more "details."
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Interesting...

http://tinyurl.com/574ub8

I'd like to know more "details."

Interesting article, but you don't have to use TinyURL. It's nice to know where the link is taking us and these forums will truncate any url that exceeds a certain character length.
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post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Interesting article, but you don't have to use TinyURL. It's nice to know where the link is taking us and these forums will truncate any url that exceeds a certain character length.

Yeah, I know. It's just a habit.
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Weren't all the SD shows in 4:3 ratio? Are the HD shows widescreen?

Since only the Classic isn't in a fancy widescreen I hope that all shows, HD and SD, will be in a widescreen format, especially since most are aried that way now.

Episodes of Bones and Jericho that I've purchased were 16:9, but 640x360. The 2008 Stanley Cup Final games were 640x480--non letterboxed.
post #19 of 58
Now bring them to Europe please
post #20 of 58
Apple clearly states that the "HD TV Shows are playable on Macs, PCs, and Apple TVs." What it doesn't say is that it is playable on an iPod. So this leaves me wondering, if I buy an HD TV show to view on my Mac will I be able to play that same file on my iPod, or will I have to spend another $1.99 to have a SD version for my iPod?
post #21 of 58
Hold on. They're bringing BACK Knight Rider? Now this is news. Good or bad; though that's another question.
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Weren't all the SD shows in 4:3 ratio? Are the HD shows widescreen?

Since only the Classic isn't in a fancy widescreen I hope that all shows, HD and SD, will be in a widescreen format, especially since most are aried that way now.

Well, actually, the screen resolution of the Nano is 320x240 which is equal to an aspect ratio of 4:3. The Touch's aspect ratio is 3:2 which is wider but still some way off 16:9. That was my complaint... or grumble, when I saw the orange nano yesterday. Why not make it widescreen?

In the UK when TV turned digital, most broadcasts became 16:9. Here in North America broadcasts stayed at 4:3. Very annoying. But now that everything is switching to hd and finally to 16:9 it would be nice if all the iPods did the same.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac4me View Post

Glad to see NBC back on board!

Yeah, just a squabble, really. Now we are friends and better for it. Lets play nice.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonitunes View Post

Apple clearly states that the "HD TV Shows are playable on Macs, PCs, and Apple TVs." What it doesn't say is that it is playable on an iPod. So this leaves me wondering, if I buy an HD TV show to view on my Mac will I be able to play that same file on my iPod, or will I have to spend another $1.99 to have a SD version for my iPod?

Apple's Tech Specs for all iPods that play video are the same. They all say 640x480, however, they can all play the "DVD quality" movies you buy and rent which are 720 on the horizontal plane, so this number is artificial to the weakest iPod link.

I'm guessing they won't play HD video at all, and prevent any syncing which iTunes has been monitoring for years now. I'm sure the Touch could technically handle the file, but I'm doubtful that it wouldn't be choppy and drain the battery fast due to all the overhead. I'm certain the others couldn't handle it at all. Because you are buying it, they may have a "Create SD version" option. I'd be surprised if they didn't.
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post #25 of 58
I don't really buy that Apple caved, when they left the first time around all the stories were saying that NBC wanted bundling and HIGHER prices, not lower. And which they still don't have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Hold on. They're bringing BACK Knight Rider? Now this is news. Good or bad; though that's another question.

It's not really news since they ran the first episode as a TV movie last spring.
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I don't really buy that Apple caved, when they left the first time around all the stories were saying that NBC wanted bundling and HIGHER prices, not lower. And which they still don't have.



It's not really news since they ran the first episode as a TV movie last spring.

Well, Valleywag is now even reporting that Apple caved:

http://valleywag.com/5047491/nbc-con...back-on-itunes
post #27 of 58
I added a couple free nbc shows to my cart but they're listed as unavailable, I can't download them.
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post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Well, Valleywag is now even reporting that Apple caved:

http://valleywag.com/5047491/nbc-con...back-on-itunes

We'll know shortly if The Office and Heroes TV Shows are being sold for more than standard price.
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post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

We'll know shortly if The Office and Heroes TV Shows are being sold for more than standard price.

I'll be surprised if the HD versions for "The Office" & "Heroes" are higher than $2.99 like the other shows. I'm betting the concession was giving NBC/Universal more pricing control.
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

I'll be surprised if the HD versions for "The Office" & "Heroes" are higher than $2.99 like the other shows. I'm betting the concession was giving NBC/Universal more pricing control.

Did you mean to say, "are not higher"? If NBC has pricing control, then the chance of them being higher are more likely, since that is what NBC has wanted.
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post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Did you mean to say, "are not higher"? If NBC has pricing control, then the chance of them being higher are more likely, since that is what NBC has wanted.

No, I meant what I said. I don't think we're going to see the NBC price increases immediately, but then again (like many times before) I've been wrong.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

We'll know shortly if The Office and Heroes TV Shows are being sold for more than standard price.

For some shows I only see HD, at $2.99. For other shows I see $1.99, like Conviction which I think was cancelled.

30 Rock and The Office only seem to be available in HD. So I guess it'll cost me more than I want to pay to backfill my missing episodes...

Edit: Just found the standard shows, had to go to the show's page and click Also Available in Standard. $1.99 each.
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post #33 of 58
I assume this applies to the U.S. only. Too bad, because the selection of TV shows for iTunes Canada is sorely lacking.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

For some shows I only see HD, at $2.99. For other shows I see $1.99, like Conviction which I think was cancelled.

30 Rock and The Office only seem to be available in HD. So I guess it'll cost me more than I want to pay to backfill my missing episodes...

Edit: Just found the standard shows, had to go to the show's page and click Also Available in Standard. $1.99 each.

I think making some "HD only" for a set period might be the deal Apple and NBC made which keeps the prices in line but allows NBC to get 50% more per show for new and popular items.
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post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

I assume this applies to the U.S. only. Too bad, because the selection of TV shows for iTunes Canada is sorely lacking.

Emphasis on the word SORELY!!!
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Well, Valleywag is now even reporting that Apple caved:

http://valleywag.com/5047491/nbc-con...back-on-itunes

Nope, Jobs won again. Zucker didn't win anything unless they gained incrementally more from each sale. Certainly doesn't seem like thier Hulu.com effort was worth it.

Zucker should start looking for another job now.

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post #37 of 58
Wow, only 99 cents to have a chunk of my brain removed by the ateam.

I'm not sure if this means old episodes of WCW Nitro will cost 49 cents or 2 dollars.

Anyways, i'm holding out for Roseanne and CHIPS reruns to appear. I live on a planet where we all live to be 200000 years old and therefore have plenty of time to pour old, liquid feces into our eyes and ears.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by w00master View Post

Well, Valleywag is now even reporting that Apple caved:

http://valleywag.com/5047491/nbc-con...back-on-itunes

To be more correct, they're reporting that ZUCKER said that apple caved. You don't think NBC is going to claim victory, even when they didn't get the things they wanted when they left?
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think making some "HD only" for a set period might be the deal Apple and NBC made which keeps the prices in line but allows NBC to get 50% more per show for new and popular items.

That's what I thought, but then I looked a little harder and found there were both Standard and HD versions, normal pricing. I wouldn't say the Standard ones are hidden, but they definitely make the HD ones easier to find.
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post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Nope, Jobs won again. Zucker didn't win anything unless they gained incrementally more from each sale. Certainly doesn't seem like thier Hulu.com effort was worth it.

Zucker should start looking for another job now.

From a viewer's perspective, I would say their Hulu effort was worth it. There are lots of shows and movies there, and it's free. Definitely worth it.
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