NBC Chairman Wright not yet assured of adequate piracy protections for content via some venues

“NBC Universal is prepared to offer more programing in new media outlets but is not yet assured of the protections against piracy in some venues, the media company’s chairman and chief executive said on Monday,” Michele Gershberg reports for Reuters. “While Internet powerhouses like Yahoo Inc. and Google seek to expand online access to entertainment content, Wright said they did not have enough protections in place for prime television and movie properties.”

“‘We can’t provide them with content unless they can adequately protect it,’ NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright said. NBC is part of General Electric Co. NBC Universal aims to provide programing wherever it ‘can be seen, heard, used,’ Wright told Reuters. ‘We have to protect it and we need to price it appropriately.’ Wright spoke shortly before NBC announced a deal with No. 1 U.S. satellite television operator DirecTV to offer on-demand access to its top network and cable programs at 99 cents a show. The shows will be available on-demand, commercial free, a few hours after the original broadcasts. He cited protections offered by cable and satellite operators, as well as the newer paid music and video download service offered by Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes.”

Full article here.

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Bob Wright was the head of a small group of geniuses who picked Jay Leno over David Letterman for The Tonight Show and lost NBC’s top late night talent to CBS. In fact, according to various reports, including one from NewsWeek, instead of walking across NBC’s New York headquarters to tell Letterman the bad news, Wright ordered subordinates to fly in from L.A. to tell him. Those two moves speak volumes about Bob Wright.

Wright also launched cable outlet MSNBC with partner Microsoft Corp., presumably to fill the need for some outfit to perpetually occupy the bottom spaces in the Nielsen ratings books. MSNBC: that’s why they invented hash marks.

Based on past performances, we’re not at all convinced of Wright’s ability to make good decisions or deal appropriately with their ramifications, but we hope he gets certain NBC shows available via iTunes sooner than later.

[UPDATE: 4:20pm ET: Revised headline and take after reading the article again. Our bad. Not an excuse, but we’re battling the new server and trying to update at the same time today. We hope to smooth out the server response soon. Thank you.]

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  1. Not that i am interested much in US TV (and in TV in general…)

    But if the big names in this world prefer to watch TV shows (and movies) dowloaded via P2P and other torrents… feel free not to offer a valid legal alternative… iTunes being of course the only credible one for the time being!

    And yes, all encryption will be defeated (and there is no other way around as long as the keys have to travel with the payload!) – but isn’t it better for them to have something instead of nothing ?

    magic word: land, as in land of freedom

  2. These are two very different markets.

    iTunes video is primarily going to be used for portable video, whereas on-demand is strictly for TV use.

    The difference is that you need a DVD recording system for copying an On-demand feed. With iTunes there is the potential that someone could hack the file and allow for copying of the content. The former is actually easier, but you have to buy the appropriate equipment.

  3. IMO Leno is far better than Dave.

    I used to like Dave in the 80’s w/stupid pet tricks and the like, but his humor get’s old, and I think he has a case of ADD.

    Leno fits the bill perfectly for me.

  4. Everyone has completely misread this article!!!

    He says that Yahoo and Google does NOT provide adequate safeguards.

    He says that cable and satelittle operators AND Apple are adequate. Hence, his announcement that he will offer it through DirectTV and implying that he is willing to also provide content via iTunes.


  5. MDC Headline: NBC Chairman Wright not yet assured of adequate piracy protections for content via iTunes

    Article content: “Gershberg reports. ‘He cited protections offered by cable and satellite operators, as well as the newer paid music and video download service offered by Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes.'”

    You’re not making much sense here, MDN.

  6. Looks like I got sucked in. I didn’t read the article, just the MDN shortening of it.

    Bloody hell.

    I retract my above comment – it probably is security as suggested.

    No conspiracy. What’ll I tell the guys camped out at Area 51?

  7. Leno blows. He’s an embarrassment. Can you say “Uber-beige?”

    Talk about bland, boring, and totally self-absorbed.

    That opening montage for his show where he’s shown onstage at a comedy club making a joke and laughing at himself and preening . . . what a prick. He used to be cool — ironically when he would come on Letterman’s NBC show and do his “What’s my beef?” bit. But he traded his leather jackets for a suit and tie and became Jay “Kiss Everyone’s Ass” Bland-o.

    Yah, Letterman’s become by-the-numbers, but I’ll take him over Bland-o.

    And I’ll take Conan over either of them anyday!

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