NBC boneheads couldn’t have worse timing with Apple iTunes TV show spat

“NBC couldn’t have worse timing,” Vince Horiuchi reports for The Salt Lake Tribune. “The Peacock network, home to great series like ‘The Office,’ ‘Heroes’ and ‘Friday Night Lights,’ cut itself off from iTunes earlier this month in a move that is sure to hurt NBC much more than it will Apple, which owns the downloadable music and video service.”

“It’s the most bone-headed move a television network can make right now. For one thing, NBC pulled out of its contract with Apple a week before the introduction of a whole new lineup of iPods, including the new iPod ‘touch,’ which has a 3.5-inch-wide screen perfect for viewing video,” Horiuchi reports.

“It also doesn’t help that this deal went sour just before the start of the fall TV season, when millions will be turning to iTunes to get episodes of new shows,” Horiuchi reports. “Finally, NBC, which is in fourth place in the ratings, needs iTunes to drum up interest in its series. Many credit the success of ‘The Office’ on iTunes for giving that sitcom a leg up on television.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]

Some of the “many” who credit iTunes for the success of “The Office,” include the NBC boneheads themselves.


  1. I bought the entire first three seasons of Top Chef. It was cheaper than paying for cable or satellite and not illegal as I am led to believe is the case with bit-torrent. I guess I may become an outlaw once season four begins later this year.

  2. The article focuses on the availability of the iPod touch, for playing video, but the new nano is going to expand the video player market even more significantly. Read Dan Eran’s multi-page review of the new nano on AppleInsider.

    Think about it: all iPods (other than the shuffle) sold from now on are video players. It’s just a question of what screen size, storage, portability and thin-ness factors most appeal to the buyer.

    The various iPods are so attractively featured and priced now that it will not be a great surprise to hear of people with multiple video playing iPods in different size formats.

    The next quarter’s sales figures will be huge, and there will be a tremendous jump seen in the number of video playing iPods ready to receive and play video over the next few months. (“critical mass” achieved)

  3. Netflix download is Windows only (borg loving pigs!). But the DVD rental is amazingly cheap. Yeah, I have to wait a day to get it, but I’ve seen more movies I want to see since joining than I did on Dish.

    I guess my point is over the air TV, satellite and cable are all about feeding what they think will sell to the public. Download services, and rental like Netflix are about what the consumer wants to see and when they want to see it.

    The paradigm is shifting. And the Media giants, like the Music industry, are too fat and blotted to change with it.

  4. NBC’s ratings are the biggest reason why this whole thing is a surprise to me. Not iPods, not the power of Steve Jobs.

    Some of their biggest shows are literally dead last in the Nielsens. And this is the time to experiment with a tried and true model? You’d think NBC was on top of the Big 4 with no problems.

    I would never have watched 30 Rock had it not been for iTunes. Not that I thought it was a bad show, just always came on at a bad time for me. I’d think that its survival, like The Office, might also be credited to iTunes.

  5. The AppleTV is getting ready to take off!

    Movie rentals, then I would love to see a subscription to someone like HBO or Show Time, DL anything they are currently showing

    Have been playing around with Bittorent, works, pain in the a**,

    would much rather pay for the DL . at a fair price

  6. I wouldn’t be so quick to cry foul about Netflix not allowing downloads for the Mac. The CEO said they desperately want to make this service available to Mac users, but they can’t because of DRM. For Windows users they use Microsoft’s DRM, which won’t work on the Mac (thankfully), and apparently they’ve approached Apple about using FairPlay but Apple said no. I read recently that there is another option in development and that they expect to make it available to Mac users some time in 2008. Netflix is a very pro-Mac company, they just haven’t been given much support. I guess Apple considers Netflix to be competition to iTS.

  7. Isn’t it funny that the things that actually enable people to legally watch the network shows when it is convenient for them to do so are the things that they want stopped (or to rape the public for)? TiVo, iTunes… don’t they get that if I am able to watch a few episodes when I have time to do so that I might actually become a fan of the show and *gasp* actually watch some episodes during it’s usual airing when time permits? They are alienating a very large percentage of the public with their old time thinking.

    Families don’t drop everything and gather ’round the TV set to watch their shows at a specific time anymore. Hell, families barely sit down to have dinner together anymore (though that’s not a good thing).

    By the time these morons catch on, it will be too late…

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