Just An Online Minute... NBC's Proposed ITunes Pullout Example Of Apple Backlash
by Wendy Davis, Aug 31, 2007, 3:15 PM
NBC intends to pull its TV shows from Apple’s iTunes store, according to a report in today’s New York Times. Currently, NBC shows like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Heroes,” which Apple sells for $1.99 an episode, account for about 40% of all iTunes video downloads.
The news, which comes as NBC and News Corp. are gearing up to launch their own Web TV service, Hulu, shows that more Internet TV sites don’t necessarily mean more options for consumers. On the contrary, it indicates that networks want to exercise tighter control over the Web distribution of their programs.
At the same time, it’s clear that some major entertainment companies are especially unhappy with Apple. Earlier this summer, Universal Music also balked at Apple’s terms and said it didn’t intend to renew a long-term deal with iTunes. Of course, it’s not just entertainment companies that find Apple too controlling. Last week, 17-year-old George Hotz was cheered for figuring out how to reconfigure the iPhone so that it works with carriers other than AT&T -- Apple’s chosen partner.
Still, despite the pushback, there’s no guarantee that NBC will follow through on its plans to stop dealing with Apple. The contract between the companies doesn’t end until December, which gives NBC time to determine whether cutting iTunes out of the picture makes long-term sense.