Apple iTunes Store to stop selling NBC television shows

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple on Friday afternoon issued a press release confirming that it will indeed halt sales of NBC television shows through its ubiquitous iTunes download service beginning with the upcoming television season.



The move, the company explained, follows NBC?s decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99.



ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.



?We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase,? said Eddy Cue, Apple?s vice president of iTunes. ?We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers.?



Apple?s agreement with NBC ends in December. Since NBC would withdraw their shows in the middle of the television season, Apple has decided to not offer NBC TV shows for the upcoming television season beginning in September.



NBC supplied iTunes with three of its 10 best selling TV shows last season, accounting for 30 percent of iTunes TV show sales.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    So I wonder if NBC has someone else willing to pay more, or if they think they can do better selling direct?
  • Reply 2 of 105
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    OK, I need someone to enlighten me as to why I would spend 1.99, let alone 4.99 for an episode of crappy NBC show in the first place.



    I've run the math, and it seems to me that even at 1.99/show, if I watch 2 shows per day, that comes out to about 60 bucks per month, and zero flexibility.

    My cable with HBO is 60/month including DVR.



    Someone want to 'splain the brilliant economics of this model to me?
  • Reply 3 of 105
    m.o.s.tm.o.s.t Posts: 255member
    "...retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode........."
  • Reply 4 of 105
    It's hilarious how one press release can totally change perception of an issue.



    When the first announcement hit, there was a ton of apple bashing for not playing ball, and dire predictions.



    Now that it has been revealed that NBC wanted to double prices, they are getting slammed as the greedy corporate bad guy.



    Apple's PR department sure knocked this one out of the park.
  • Reply 5 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    OK, I need someone to enlighten me as to why I would spend 1.99, let alone 4.99 for an episode of crappy NBC show in the first place.



    I've run the math, and it seems to me that even at 1.99/show, if I watch 2 shows per day, that comes out to about 60 bucks per month.

    My cable with HBO is 60/month with DVR.



    Someone want to 'splain the brilliant economics of this model to me?



    The ninja move here is to do the following:



    1. Buy an "HD" antenna - which is just a regular UHF antenna

    2. Buy a Series 3 HD TIVO ($299 - $399)

    3. Buy an Apple TV

    4. Drop Cable / Dish and love every minute of it. You'd save $720 a year minus your inital outlay of cash for the hardware and the amount you spend on iTunes.



    How can you do this?



    Use your TIVO to record Free Network Shows. It also allows you to rent movies via Amazon's movie service. Use iTunes or other services (i.e. Bittorrent) to get the remainder of the content you need.



    The only thing you might miss out on is Live Sports programming. . . but isn't that what Bars are for?
  • Reply 6 of 105
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    It's obvious that NBC Universal has other pans to offer it's media online. It will probably fail miserably as it won't include the iTunes convenience and its fair DRM. I predict they will come back to iTunes within 6 months.
  • Reply 7 of 105
    If x + y = 1.99, 2x + y = 4.99. That suggests Apple was losing money. So it's gotta be more than 2, but less than 3? Jeez, NBC!
  • Reply 8 of 105
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    I'm sure they'll make the deal and come back. It is just sad that they have to use the media in their negotiations.
  • Reply 9 of 105
    Talk about owned.



    Apple just handily bested NBC Universal. Not only does NBC look like complete assholes for wanting three times wholesale, but now NBC's fall season has taken a huge setback. Shows like The Office and Heroes were popularized by (at least in part) by iTunes. Given that NBC is launching significantly more shows than usual this upcoming season, Apple just hit NBC right where it hurts. NBC was hoping they could take advantage of their shows being available on iTunes through December to build audiences for their new programming, but now NBC is left out to dry. NBC's fall programming builds on the success of shows like The Office and Heroes targeting a similar audience. Without iTunes, NBC stands to suffer greatly this fall.



    Well played, Apple. Well played.
  • Reply 10 of 105
    netdognetdog Posts: 244member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bryand View Post


    So I wonder if NBC has someone else willing to pay more, or if they think they can do better selling direct?



    The question is whom do they have lined up to pay $4.99 per show? Count me out.
  • Reply 11 of 105
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by biggsjm View Post


    The ninja move here is to do the following:



    1. Buy an "HD" antenna - which is just a regular UHF antenna

    2. Buy a Series 3 HD TIVO ($299 - $399)

    3. Buy an Apple TV

    4. Drop Cable / Dish and love every minute of it. You'd save $720 a year minus your inital outlay of cash for the hardware and the amount you spend on iTunes.



    How can you do this?



    Use your TIVO to record Free Network Shows. It also allows you to rent movies via Amazon's movie service. Use iTunes or other services (i.e. Bittorrent) to get the remainder of the content you need.



    The only thing you might miss out on is Live Sports programming. . . but isn't that what Bars are for?



    Well, if I were to do that, then I'd hook some sort of EyeTV set up to DVR the OTA to my MAC.

    My problem is that don't get any decent OTA where I live.
  • Reply 12 of 105
    All networks will eventually offer their programming stright from their site. And why not? iTunes get a royalty that is passed onto us. If they can cut that out and keep our prices low, then great. One less middle man to pay.



    Now the catch to that is that eventually the networks will get cut out in the same way. Eventually the studios will no longer need the networks and they'll offer their shows to us directly.



    If the shows remain $2 on NBC, it wont change a thing for me. Heck, especially if NBC offers an HD download. But I'm with the rest of you. $5 is ridiculous for 20 minutes of video.
  • Reply 13 of 105
    I'm a private contractor with NBC/Universal, and since NBC took over Universal, things are going down hill over there. Accounting was moved to India to cut corners, so it used to be a 45-day wait for the payment, but now it is an unbelievable 90-day wait to get paid if you work with them as a contractor. And it's not unusual to be notified saying "there was an accounting error, therefore your payment will be delayed for another 4-8 weeks." In a mean time, those no brain executives over there are getting paid every month on time. I'm not surprised with this news, since they are so desperate to make more money, but all they are doing is just choking their own neck. This is a very good example of bad management...
  • Reply 14 of 105
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    OK, I need someone to enlighten me as to why I would spend 1.99, let alone 4.99 for an episode of crappy NBC show in the first place.



    I've run the math, and it seems to me that even at 1.99/show, if I watch 2 shows per day, that comes out to about 60 bucks per month, and zero flexibility.

    My cable with HBO is 60/month including DVR.



    Someone want to 'splain the brilliant economics of this model to me?



    The big savings is in the fact that most shows are not on all year round, but you're paying for cable year round. Other benefits include, no commercials, and "owning" the media (ie. if its a show you would have bought on DVD that is no longer necessary, unless you want the bonus features)



    So for example:



    Lost Season Pass: $34.99

    Ugly Betty Season Pass: $34.99

    CSI Season Pass: $44.99

    CSI: Miami Season Pass: $39.99

    House Season Pass: $42.99

    24 Season Pass: $44.99

    Top Chef Season Pass: 28.99

    Daily Show Multi-Pass(= 1 Month) $9.99 * 12 = $119.88



    Total: $391.81/year



    Now I don't know what your cable bill is, but mine is $70.27 a month, so

    $70.27 * 12 = $843.24



    Now I don't know what shows you watch, but you can see how this could result in significant savings if you can do without Live TV, and channel surfing.
  • Reply 15 of 105
    I predict NBC will be back, tail between legs on orders from GE (and some NBC manager's job will end up in the can).



    Echoing a previous comment, brilliant PR move on Apple's part.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    1. That's some dirty laundry

    2. I actually might smell Hubris (form both parties)

    3. nothing cures Hubris like Bittorrent

    4. I guess we know Apple's percent cut now..
  • Reply 17 of 105
    Let see $1.99 for each episode times 24 episodes is $47.76 and I sure like the music companies they got at least 75% of the gross for $35.82. That not bad considering people could record it free using a VCR or EyeTV. But $4.99 for each episode times 24 episodes is $119.76 are they insane!
  • Reply 18 of 105
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    OK, I need someone to enlighten me as to why I would spend 1.99, let alone 4.99 for an episode of crappy NBC show in the first place.



    I've run the math, and it seems to me that even at 1.99/show, if I watch 2 shows per day, that comes out to about 60 bucks per month, and zero flexibility.

    My cable with HBO is 60/month including DVR.



    Someone want to 'splain the brilliant economics of this model to me?



    You are leaving out the fact that there are no ads in the paid download. If that has no value for you, then that's fine, but I think there is some value there, even if it's just not having to skip the ads. Most of the support for most of those channels you get through cable is through the ads, not your subscription fee.



    Anyway, I have an EyeTV that can record NBC prime time in HD, so I can get better quality through a device that's already paid for, rather than pay $1.99 or $4.99 an episode. It has ads, but I can deal with that.
  • Reply 19 of 105
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    $4.99 an episode is absolutely f*ing insane. What overhead can they justify over the DVD box set when they don't have to press DVD's and create packaging? A whole season at $4.99 would cost over $100.
  • Reply 20 of 105
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    OK, I need someone to enlighten me as to why I would spend 1.99, let alone 4.99 for an episode of crappy NBC show in the first place.



    I've run the math, and it seems to me that even at 1.99/show, if I watch 2 shows per day, that comes out to about 60 bucks per month, and zero flexibility.

    My cable with HBO is 60/month including DVR.



    Someone want to 'splain the brilliant economics of this model to me?



    I don't buy regularly, but if I missed a Heros episode I would usually buy it to catch up before everyone talking about it at work ruined it.

    Furthermore I have been known to buy Galactica episodes (ok the whole season) on impulse. I don't even know if it was more expensive than buying the DVDs but it was available much faster and all on my laptop
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