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Apple denies caving on NBC; Korean iPhone unlikely until 2009

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple is dismissing notions that it gave in to NBC's pricing strategy to get highly coveted TV shows back. Meanwhile, legal entanglements are likely to keep South Koreans away from iPhones until next year, and an Apple TV update for HD television shows is likely.

Apple, NBC continue fight over pricing claims

Although Apple touted the return of NBC to the iTunes TV show catalog this week, the staunch disagreements between the two resurfaced again late Wednesday after Apple's iTunes VP Eddy Cue rejected arguments made by NBC as to who made the needed concessions.

Just after the news broke at the "Let's Rock" event, NBC's digital distribution head claimed that Apple had finally understood that it was "too rigid" on pricing and loosened its restrictions, which allegedly barred studios from lowering their prices. Cue, however, insists not just that Apple has "never" forbidden lower prices but that the iPod maker has already offered discounted packages.

"We've had holiday packages with shows with the right themes," the Apple executive says. "We've done things in the past with big name actors so we've packaged those things in the past."

Cue further rebuts notions that the $2.99 price for HD-resolution episodes has anything to do with the NBC spat, saying instead that the studio was given the same treatment as any other on iTunes.

It's difficult to know for sure, however, whether either side is honest in its current interpretation of events. When Apple removed NBC shows in December of last year, Cue himself asserted that NBC had wanted $4.99 episodes while NBC itself claimed that Apple wouldn't allow it to price TV content at a "profitable" rate.

Laws main hurdle to South Korean iPhone

No matter how eager South Korean carriers might be to sell iPhones, a local standard may bar the iPhone from sales in the country, according to claims by an unnamed official from major provider KTF.

The staffer doesn't say how close his company is to reaching a deal with Apple for iPhone 3G other than to say talks are underway; he adds, though, that a required standard known as the Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability (WIPI) would most likely keep the handset out of South Korea until early 2009 at the earliest.

WIPI determines how phones sold in the country can handle data and has in part been a protectionist measure for domestic sales, handing 90 percent of the Korean market to local companies such as LG and Samsung.

Special exemptions have been made to HTC and Nokia but are unlikely to be granted frequently, says an official from the Korean Communications Commission. No plans are in place to revise or scrap the law, he adds. Any changes would most likely take "more than one meeting" to accomplish.

Apple has never formally set out a Korean release and has so far said only that it would make its first Asian inroads in 2008, which have already been made with Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Singapore.

Apple TV for HD shows likely

With the launch of HD content on iTunes, many Apple TV owners are wondering at the absence of a firmware upgrade that exposes the higher-resolution TV content to the media hub.

Although these customers can always download the shows first to their computers and then sync the content, the decision to offer a form of HD first on iTunes is a reversal of the situation when it was first introduced at the start of the year, when only Apple TVs could download paid HD content.

Even so, most observers believe an Apple TV update is likely if not certain given the device's role; at over 1.4GB for a full-length show, transferring from a computer to an Apple TV will both take a long time and monopolize the local network.
post #2 of 25
Back when NBC left Apple was making it sound like NBC wanted to charge $5 per episode. I remember reading that several times. Now NBC is saying they wanted to lower prices back then? Who knows...

When you think about it, a tv episode should be 99 cents, like a song. A tv show doesn't have the replayability that a song has. You watch it two or three times over your lifetime, maybe ten at the most.

A song could be listened to hundreds of times or more.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...at over 1.4GB for a full-length show, transferring from a computer to an Apple TV will both take a long time and monopolize the local network.

So? It already manages SD movies of that size fairly well. Sounds like a non-issue to me.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Back when NBC left Apple was making it sound like NBC wanted to charge $5 per episode. I remember reading that several times. Now NBC is saying they wanted to lower prices back then? Who knows...

When you think about it, a tv episode should be 99 cents, like a song. A tv show doesn't have the replayability that a song has. You watch it two or three times over your lifetime, maybe ten at the most.

A song could be listened to hundreds of times or more.

I don't think either side was telling the whole truth. From what I remember, quotes from both sides were loaded with weasel words and misdirections.
post #5 of 25
They better shut the hell up or we're going to see NBC take its ball and go home again.
post #6 of 25
How can you have any doubt that HD shows are not coming to the AppleTV. People should be happy that Apple seems to have learned from the iPhone 3G/OS X v2.0/MobileMe/App Store/iTunes v7.7 launch debacle. staggered releases allow for better control.


Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Back when NBC left Apple was making it sound like NBC wanted to charge $5 per episode. I remember reading that several times. Now NBC is saying they wanted to lower prices back then? Who knows...

When you think about it, a tv episode should be 99 cents, like a song. A tv show doesn't have the replayability that a song has. You watch it two or three times over your lifetime, maybe ten at the most.

A song could be listened to hundreds of times or more.

There seem to be some half truths on both sides, We'll have to see how NBC shows are sold int he future to know who really caved. My guess is that it was NBC. They some some really good shows but their rating aren't good, MS Marketplace doesn't seem to be working out for them, and the Hulu, while cool, is ad supporting and probably costing them more money than it take to run it. Even if they are making money from Hulu it doesn't take away from sales on iTS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

So? It already manages SD movies of that size fairly well. Sounds like a non-issue to me.

That isn't the point. The point is that you have to move it on your network twice to get an HD show to your AppleTV from iTunes.
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post #7 of 25
korea says "no to american beef" and "no to iphones"

i guess a little quid pro quo such as no to lg & samsung and not just their phones but also their kia & hyundai cars would get their immediate attention.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

They better shut the hell up or we're going to see NBC take its ball and go home again.

I don't think so. NBC wisely came back and Eddy Cue's quick counter to NBC's BS was a good thing in my opinion.

Were there 99 cent TV shows before NBC came back? Yes. Were there packaged deals before NBC came back? Yes. Is $2.99 the new price everyone is paying for HD? Yes.

To me, the above make it clear NBC's arrival had nothing to do with any of it. Even more telling is the simple fact that NBC's story simply doesn't hold water. They gave up millions of dollars in revenue and alienated their customer base all because they couldn't sell A-Team episodes for a buck? We're supposed to believe this? Please.

NBC had 40% of iTunes revenue and thought they could hurt iTunes by leaving. They thought they had leverage. They left because they wanted higher prices, not lower. Duh! That's what this was all about. But it didn't work. Meanwhile, NBC's customers were hurt and NBC lost millions in revenue. All because they had the hubris to try the video equivalent of the record labels providing DRM-free music to everyone but Apple. Still, the iTunes Store just keeps getting stronger...
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by treestman View Post

I don't think so. NBC wisely came back and Eddy Cue's quick counter to NBC's BS was a good thing in my opinion.

Were there 99 cent TV shows before NBC came back? Yes. Were there packaged deals before NBC came back? Yes. Is $2.99 the new price everyone is paying for HD? Yes.

To me, the above make it clear NBC's arrival had nothing to do with any of it. Even more telling is the simple fact that NBC's story simply doesn't hold water. They gave up millions of dollars in revenue and alienated their customer base all because they couldn't sell A-Team episodes for a buck? We're supposed to believe this? Please.

NBC had 40% of iTunes revenue and thought they could hurt iTunes by leaving. They thought they had leverage. They left because they wanted higher prices, not lower. Duh! That's what this was all about. But it didn't work. Meanwhile, NBC's customers were hurt and NBC lost millions in revenue. All because they had the hubris to try the video equivalent of the record labels providing DRM-free music to everyone but Apple. Still, the iTunes Store just keeps getting stronger...

Excellent first post! Welcome to the forum.
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post #10 of 25
If I understand this correctly NBC claims they left Apple's iTMS because Apple would not allow them to LOWER the price on any of their videos?

Riiiiiiiight.
post #11 of 25
It's probably Paul Thurott causing all this ruckus and rumors.... MS biggest shill.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That isn't the point. The point is that you have to move it on your network twice to get an HD show to your AppleTV from iTunes.

You're starting again:
You're the one who's missed the point. You may have to move it twice to get HD to your Apple TV- but it just takes twice a long for the file that size to move over your network. Sync at night folks- problem solved. And that is the way it was for 9 months before you could buy direct to ATV. The article is talking about size - twice as long not that it takes 2 steps! And the HD that's available now on ATV is only rental anyway.
Having said that -bring on an ATV update and add something else while your at it Apple, not just additional procedures on buying or renting more iTunes products to the jukebox.
Does anybody know if the rentable downloads now offered are of the same quality(specs) as the HD TV shows newly offered?


Quote:
My guess is that it was NBC.

Why are we all not surprised.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebimeyer View Post

If I understand this correctly NBC claims they left Apple's iTMS because Apple would not allow them to LOWER the price on any of their videos?

Riiiiiiiight.

And the new Genius feature in ITunes is not really there to coax you into buying more iTunes- riiiiiiight? The Genius is Apple here -not the new playlist maker!!!
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebimeyer View Post

If I understand this correctly NBC claims they left Apple's iTMS because Apple would not allow them to LOWER the price on any of their videos?

Riiiiiiiight.

No. Their were already shows that cost less than $1.99.

NBC wanted the ability to charge whatever they want, meaning more.
post #15 of 25
NBC: fail
post #16 of 25
NBC should just shut up and provide content.

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post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by treestman View Post

Meanwhile, NBC's customers were hurt and NBC lost millions in revenue. All because they had the hubris to try the video equivalent of the record labels providing DRM-free music to everyone but Apple. Still, the iTunes Store just keeps getting stronger...

You so nailed this one!

I couldn't care less about NBC being back on the iTunes store. The only thing they had that was any good at all was BSG and when the pulled it, I stopped watching it. Now I don't care. They can go F themselves. I watch even less TV now than I used to, which wasn't much to begin with.

Frankly, 99% of what's on TV these days is s**t. What little I do watch is PBS, History, or Discovery. Anything else and I can find old stuff I like on iTMS. And I won't be buying anything that comes from NBC, new or old.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

NBC should just shut up and provide content.

It's as simple as that.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And the new Genius feature in ITunes is not really there to coax you into buying more iTunes- riiiiiiight? The Genius is Apple here -not the new playlist maker!!!

Don't be such a fool.
Everyone knows that's why the feature was added.
Apple even says so.
One of the problems Apple has, is because they have such a huge library of product for sale inside iTunes it is really hard for people to "shop".
The new feature is designed to improve the experience and it does so.
It is often a "surprise" when it does it's job and you realize the suggestions it gives you are a good idea and something that didn't occur to you.
Much like Zune plays up the idea you can listen to the radio, like what you hear and buy it, when it wouldn't have occurred to you to buy the song if you hadn't tripped on it on the radio.

Let's not pretend that NBC holding out because they wanted higher prices is somehow the same as improving the interface into a tune market.

Can you imagine Apple trying to make it HARDER to buy music?
What was the last feature added to a computer designed to get in the way of people finding and buying neat stuff ? Vista.

Apple is improving the process to 'discover' songs to buy so you don't merely go to iTunes knowing what you want. (you can use Amazon for that!)

This feature will be copied by everyone soon.

NBC wanted more money per episode and has figured out they will get more REVENUE by selling more product using the iTunes system rather than competing with it.
Simple as that.
As bad as it sounds to say NBC was in it for more money...... they came back to iTunes for exactly the same reason. They will get more money bowing to Apple's pricing.

NBC declared victory and left the field.
Not a bad way to do business, when you discover you were wrong.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrasington View Post

Everyone knows that's why the feature was added.
Apple even says so.
One of the problems Apple has, is because they have such a huge library of product for sale inside iTunes it is really hard for people to "shop".
The new feature is designed to improve the experience and it does so.
It is often a "surprise" when it does it's job and you realize the suggestions it gives you are a good idea and something that didn't occur to you.
Much like Zune plays up the idea you can listen to the radio, like what you hear and buy it, when it wouldn't have occurred to you to buy the song if you hadn't tripped on it on the radio.

I totally agree. All the whining about Genius being there to make money is so ridiculous. Isn't "to make money" also the reason Apple comes out with new iPods and iMacs every year?

Genius takes over the laborious task of programming smart playlists that play to stuff I want and not the stuff I don't want. The fact that it gives me easy access to songs I may want to add to the pile is a bonus.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by treestman View Post

I don't think so. NBC wisely came back and Eddy Cue's quick counter to NBC's BS was a good thing in my opinion.

The public bickering serves no purpose except to prolong bad feelings. Sure NBC is just trying to save face. So let them. There's no reason to rub it in.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

The public bickering serves no purpose except to prolong bad feelings. Sure NBC is just trying to save face. So let them. There's no reason to rub it in.

but just for kicks (you know, one more rub), too bad NBC missed the opportunity to sell lots and lots and lots of clips of the Beijing Olympics highlights through iTunes. i think there would be plenty of iTunes customers who would've enjoyed downloading them to watch.



in all fairness, lets get over it. NBC mucked up, and it's fair that it's trying to save face. [snickering].
post #23 of 25
See if anyone at NBC got fired, when their content was with itune it was doing well. Then someone at NBC decide to pull the plugs for obvious reason which was they thought the could make more money elsewhere. So why come back if they were doing so well somewhere else. My guess they saw a lose in revenue and that person who blew the deal with NBC is probably no longer in that role.

Even if Apple made some sort of change or caved we will never know for sure since Apple has been tweaking itunes and offering different prices for different things and they will continue to do that as market dynamics change. This is the reason they have not added subscriptions yet since they keep gaining market share if they stop gaining or loose to a subscription based service they will offer it too.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...at over 1.4GB for a full-length show, transferring from a computer to an Apple TV will both take a long time and monopolize the local network.

Huh? What? You think transferring files over a 1.5 or 3MB/s DSL or 16Mb/s cable line won't hog the network but moving files within a 100Mb/s or 802.11g/n or 1Gb/s home network will?
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post

Frankly, 99% of what's on TV these days is s**t. What little I do watch is PBS, History, or Discovery. Anything else and I can find old stuff I like on iTMS. And I won't be buying anything that comes from NBC, new or old.

While your point could probably have been more eloquantly put, I have to agree. In fact, I seriously wish they had History, Discovery, and Ntl Geographic content (more than the pittence of shows they currently offer), and available in HD. I'd likely dump cable completely...
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