Apple: No concessions made to NBC

“Apple has taken issue with NBC’s claims that the media conglomerate was able to change pricing policy at Apple,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET.

“NBC Universal executives have suggested that they agreed to start selling downloads of TV shows on iTunes only after being allowed more flexibility to set prices for its wares on iTunes. That’s just not correct, Eddy Cue, the vice president in charge of Apple’s iTunes Store, told CNET News on Wednesday evening,” Sandoval reports.

“Cue pointed out that while most TV shows sell for $1.99 on iTunes, retailers have always been allowed to sell videos for less. He said Viacom has offered many of its shows for 99 cents, including episodes of South Park and MTV’s The Hills. The History Channel has offered shows such as Ice Road Truckers and Ax Men,” Sandoval reports. “‘We’ve never told anyone they can’t lower prices,’ Cue said.”

“Cue said that the $2.99 price NBC is selling its HD content for is the same price for all HD content. ‘People can see (Showtime’s) Californication in HD live right now on the site,’ Cue said. And when it comes to packages, Cue said there have been packages on iTunes before,” Sandoval reports.

Cue told CNET, “‘We’re glad to have NBC back and they are participating under the same terms with all of the other content providers,'” Sandoval reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]

And the reason Cue called Sandoval was because of Sandoval’s September 9th reprinting of NBC PR’s talking points — so obvious and stupid that we just ignored it at the time — “Apple yields to NBC Universal on price, packaging.” You left that part out, Greg.

As we said the minute that NBC’s return to iTunes Store was announced: “Jobs won as usual.”


  1. Nah, Predrag, Perrette was right there. Jobs wanted $9.99 movies on iTunes (which is what they should be). He caved in order to get his foot in the door.

    Perrette has no business discussing that matter, however. He should’ve kept his mouth shut. You didn’t see Eddy Cue going on about NBC’s affairs (like their piss poor ratings).

  2. R2,

    The thing is, he’s talking about their initial negotiations, two years ago. Jobs wanted the pricing to be totally simple – Albums, Movies, same thing – $10. Nice, round number. That obviously didn’t work – the studios were just too dumb and greedy to get that.

    Where Perrette is lying is about the final “triumph” of the studios, having iTunes pricing same or higher (!!) than DVD. Other than new releases most movies are $10 after all. On Amazon, you’ll be hard pressed to find a movie that sells for less than it does on iTunes (of course, there are movies that are cheaper than $10 on Amazon, but they aren’t available on iTunes – yet).

    While negotiating for movies on iTunes, Jobs may have caved in the end. However, he didn’t even blink since NBC left and they just came back crawling with their tail between their legs.

    This is the sweet victory for Apple that Perrette just can’t accept, so he lies outright.

  3. NBC is irrelevant. In the very near future, all television production will be distributed digitally directly from the studios that make them in the first place. At that time, NBC will be promptly located where they should always have been: up Shit Creek without rabbit ears.

  4. seriously though…$3 an episode is just too much when you can work marginally harder and find the same content for “free” via P2P. Both the movie studios AND the record companies still don’t get it. they need to price this stuff so low that the hassle of the torrent sites just isn’t worth it. HD TV shows should be $1 and songs should be $0.25 ea. Sure they would lose money from each individual sale BUT I know they’d more than make that up with the volume of sales.

  5. Lessee…. torrent sites…

    I tried to fetch season 4 of a show I enjoy, using torrents, and after 7 days (computer running and d/l’ing 24/7), I had received 1.06 GB of data.

    Before I’d even got a single episode (torrents don’t send files “streamed” for viewing, you get bits and pieces of files), NBC came back and BAM! My show was back.

    I downloaded season 4 while I was at work that day.

    Torrents=days (weeks!) to get content.

    iTMS=Click, go to work (or to sleep), and by the time you’re home (or awake), you’ve got what you want.

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