Reports: Apple and NBC mending fences

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Inc. and video content provider NBC Universal are working to bury the hatchet, according to reports, which suggest that it's only a matter of time before the network's catalog of television programming returns to the digital shelves of the iTunes Store.



In a post-Macworld keynote interview with BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs discounted reports from mainstream media outlets that suggest the company's differences with NBC over iTunes pricing will evolve into a long-term stalemate that would also see the network unwilling to participate in the new iTunes Movie Rental service.



?Well, I guess your story looks pretty dumb,? Jobs told Burrows, referring to a BusinessWeek story earlier this month that suggested Apple would probably not be able to get Universal and Sony to support its new movie rental service, which it eventually did.



While Jobs agreed that those two studios weren?t the first to arrive at the bargaining table, he claims there were no great obstacles to overcome once they sat down, and that there was no pressure to get the deals inked ahead of last week's Macworld Expo.



?We?ll put it back together on the TV thing," Jobs added. "Everybody lost [when NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker pulled his content off iTunes]. "But NBC is a great company, and Apple is a great company,? neither of which make a habit of ignoring their customers? desires, he said.



?Fortunately,? Jobs half-joked, ?there was a writers? strike, so it didn?t matter as much as it might have.?



Tempers between the two firms flared last fall after NBC decided not to renew its iTunes distribution contract with Apple, arguing that the iPod maker was unreasonably opposed to experimenting with more flexible pricing structures for TV show downloads.



The dispute culminated in December when Zucker used a breakfast hosted by Syracuse?s Newhouse School of Communications to urge colleagues into taking a stand against iTunes, charging that the service was undermining the ability of traditional media companies to set profitable rates for their content online.



"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business -- in terms of pricing -- and if we don?t take control, they?ll do the same thing on the video side," he said.



But in speaking to the Financial Times this week, Zucker too appears to have had a sudden change of heart.



"We?ve said all along that we admire Apple, that we want to be in business with Apple," he said. ?We?re great fans of Steve Jobs.?
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,073member
    Ha ha - what a loser zucker is. Steve should do the same thing he did to Disney, refuse to deal until the ass gets canned from NBC.
  • Reply 2 of 66
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Yeah. Tell me that Zucker's ass isn't on the line with NBC.
  • Reply 3 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    As usual, business as usual.
  • Reply 4 of 66
    Are you kidding me? Apple is looking after the customer the same time it's making a profit. NBC has always been the "black sheep" that nobody likes. Apple is a business and what do businesses do? Oh, that's right... make money and then in turn spend some of that money on a business model that actually works unlike NBC's. Sure people have choices but when nobody know of your services (NBC) why fight the fight when you can join a winning team! Apple rules and that's all there is to it...



    Mr.Scott
  • Reply 5 of 66
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    Steve should do the same thing he did to Disney, refuse to deal until the ass gets canned from NBC.



    I thought it was Eisner that refused to work with Jobs, not the other way around.





    If this were a Japanese company Zucker, or some other fall guy, would have stepped down so the company could save face. Usually I'm against such prescribed spectacles but in this case I think Zucker should definitely step down.



    If they wanted to start their own service they should never have killed one revenue stream to do so. Especially sense one was ad-based that could be watch on a computer and the other was pay-based and could be watched on iDevices.
  • Reply 6 of 66
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,073member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I thought it was Eisner that refused to work with Jobs, not the other way around.



    Nope -



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixar#Disney_and_Pixar



    "Bad blood between Steve Jobs and Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner made the negotiations more difficult than they otherwise might have been. They broke down completely in mid-2004, with Jobs declaring that Pixar was actively seeking partners other than Disney. However, Pixar did not enter in negotiations with other distributors, since other partners saw Pixar's terms as too demanding. After a lengthy hiatus, negotiations between the two companies resumed following the departure of Eisner from Disney in September of 2005."
  • Reply 7 of 66
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    Nope -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixar#Disney_and_Pixar



    Thanks
  • Reply 8 of 66
    The bad blood was mostly because Eisner made some remarks about the iPod business on Capitol Hill that it was a model that promoted theft of music. Later Eisner said this of Jobs: "It's impossible to negotiate with Steve Jobs. Jobs is a Shiite Muslim"
  • Reply 9 of 66
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Zucker sounds a tad paranoid to me. No one company is going to totally dominate video retail, ever. Is he intimidated by the Internet or something?
  • Reply 10 of 66
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ?Well, I guess your story looks pretty dumb,? Jobs told Burrows,



    As FSJ might say - money quote.
  • Reply 11 of 66
    Hopefully we'll see NBC back soon. But more importantly, I want to know is when will I be able to rent tv shows on itunes/apple tv? I want on demand tv without a cable subscription and less than $2/episode.
  • Reply 12 of 66
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The dispute culminated in December when Zucker used a breakfast hosted by Syracuse?s Newhouse School of Communications to urge colleagues into taking a stand against iTunes,



    Minor correction: That's Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. It's not some standalone school.
  • Reply 13 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post


    Are you kidding me? Apple is looking after the customer the same time it's making a profit. NBC has always been the "black sheep" that nobody likes. Apple is a business and what do businesses do? Oh, that's right... make money and then in turn spend some of that money on a business model that actually works unlike NBC's. Sure people have choices but when nobody know of your services (NBC) why fight the fight when you can join a winning team! Apple rules and that's all there is to it...



    Mr.Scott



    It was ABC that was the black sheep. most years, NBC did fine.
  • Reply 14 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I thought it was Eisner that refused to work with Jobs, not the other way around.



    That's really a matter of interpretatin.



    Jobs had his position, and wouldn't give in. Eisner refused to deal with tha.



    It's a tough call. Right now, Disney is doing deals to Apple's disadvantage, even though Jobs is on the board as the largest stockholder.



    Quote:

    If they wanted to start their own service they should never have killed one revenue stream to do so. Especially sense one was ad-based that could be watch on a computer and the other was pay-based and could be watched on iDevices.



    There really wasn't much of a revenue stream. It might become one in the future, but right now, the sales and profits from it have been miniscule.
  • Reply 15 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DalÃ* Debaser View Post


    The bad blood was mostly because Eisner made some remarks about the iPod business on Capitol Hill that it was a model that promoted theft of music. Later Eisner said this of Jobs: "It's impossible to negotiate with Steve Jobs. Jobs is a Shiite Muslim"



    Other than the Muslim reference, he is right. Jobs will stick to his position no matter how much it hurts his potential partners if he thinks he has the upper hand.



    Only when he has no chioce whatsoever, will he give in.



    We can see that with movie rentals. Obviously, that's not what he would have wanted, but he saw he had no choice.
  • Reply 16 of 66
    If you ask me.. NBC looks stupid now... especially when all the major tv company is in itunes.. plus, they spend millions on a streaming beta that would compete with itunes... in the end.. they just lost millions in that and in lost sales in the period where NBC pulled their shows from itunes...



    I guess the only positive thing about this is NBC help the economy by spending money on unnecessary things



    Great Job NBC



    FYI, the best streaming tv website is FOX. the commercial is limited compared to other networks' limited commericals and it is stable compared to NBC, ABC, or CBS.. (NBC is the worst though, very unstable and annoying)
  • Reply 17 of 66
    Well Zucker's got no option really as Apple ultimately created a platform out of a real need for change. iTunes in essence and appearance is a pro-consumer model others have to follow. So by attacking Apple he's effectively attacking the consumer. Apple have them all by the short-and-curlies right now.



    If Zucker honestly believed he could get rival companies, who have a vested interest in shifting content, to join forces against Apple then the man is naive. iTunes is a one-off and i don't think even Apple could have imagined in their wildest dreams that a piece of software would wield so much power.
  • Reply 18 of 66
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Zucker sounds a tad paranoid to me. No one company is going to totally dominate video retail, ever. Is he intimidated by the Internet or something?



    I wouldn't say that.



    With itunes already having 93% of ALL internet movie sales, despite having almost no movies to sell, the situation seems clear. If they had thousands, rather than just a few hundred, they would sell them.



    With Apple having the most popular portable video and music device around, and possibly several hundred million active iTunes accounts around the world, it's the first place these people will go for content.



    The companies understand this very well. I don't blame them for wanting to break that model.



    I know if I were in charge of a content company, I would want the same thing, and so would everyone here if they were in the same position.



    The problem for them is that they're not sure WHAT to do about it. It's out of their control as to where the player business goes. If MS can't make the Zune a major competitor, then they lose there.



    Their model of making their content available for free in different ways is their attempt to see if other methods will work. Maybe they will.



    This will take years to play out.



    But, as long as Apple plays along, as they are with movie rentals, they won't care as much.



    They win, because it becomes simpler for them, and Apple wins for obvious reasons.
  • Reply 19 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post


    Are you kidding me? Apple is looking after the customer the same time it's making a profit. NBC has always been the "black sheep" that nobody likes. Apple is a business and what do businesses do? Oh, that's right... make money and then in turn spend some of that money on a business model that actually works unlike NBC's. Sure people have choices but when nobody know of your services (NBC) why fight the fight when you can join a winning team! Apple rules and that's all there is to it...



    Mr.Scott



    Just to note.. apple did not make a single cent on itunes content.. they are only focus on their products which is the ipods.



    to be honest, there is some truth to what NBC is saying about how apple only wants to promote its ipod through itunes and minimize the studio's profit. NBC just went the wrong way by going public.
  • Reply 20 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I thought it was Eisner that refused to work with Jobs, not the other way around.





    If this were a Japanese company Zucker, or some other fall guy, would have stepped down so the company could save face. Usually I'm against such prescribed spectacles but in this case I think Zucker should definitely step down.



    If they wanted to start their own service they should never have killed one revenue stream to do so. Especially sense one was ad-based that could be watch on a computer and the other was pay-based and could be watched on iDevices.



    To note, NBC is not making very much money, that was one of the catalyst to this stalemate.. NBC probably makes more money streaming with ad.
Sign In or Register to comment.