Apple Rips NBC Programming from iTunes

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple has finally given up on their deal with NBC Universal after several disputes over the price of their television shows. Apple officially announced that they would no longer be offering any NBC programs for the fall season through their iTunes downloading service.

NBC has fired back at their former partnering company, claiming that Apple was solely responsible for the downfall of the agreement. According to NBC affiliates, they had given Apple sufficient notice that their programs were not to be sold via iTunes after the end of the previous season. (Source:

The quarrel is likely to result in considerable losses for both companies. Apple is expected to lose a significant number of subscribers because NBC programs account for over 40% of all video downloads on iTunes. While not as damaging, NBC will also suffer due to having no exposure with the internationally popular downloading service.

ABC, CBS and Fox, along with over 50 other cable networks have established deals with Apple that agree to air their fall shows at the current iTunes price of $1.99 per episode. NBC wanted Apple to pay more than double its wholesale price for their shows, which would have led to the increased retail price of $4.99 per episode. (Source:

While many cable networks hold lucrative contracts with Apple, the sentiments of NBC Universal are commonly shared throughout the industry. Analysts believe that many networks are unhappy over Apple's pricing policies and want to have more control in the situation. While NBC will undoubtedly miss the financial gains and added popularity of having their shows on the iTunes downloading service, there is one thing NBC will not miss: those who have been downloading their material illegally for years.

NBC's parting wish for Apple is to stiffen their anti-piracy provisions so that computer users will not have easy access to illegal downloads. (Source:

NBC believes that this is the least Apple could do for the cable networks that have remained loyal to them through the years.

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