Peacock Bites Apple; Apple Bites Back03 September 2007
Peacock Bites Apple; Apple Bites Back
In what amounted to a blistering hardball maneuver, Apple announced on Friday that it will not offer any of NBC's shows for the coming season on its iTunes Music Store. The announcement came in a response to an earlier announcement by NBC that it would not renew its contract with Apple when it expires at the end of the year. But some analysts suggested that NBC's stance was merely a negotiating ploy to force Apple to increase the fees it charges for downloads of the network's programs while still allowing consumers to sample new programs, such as Bionic Woman, Chuck, and Journeyman at their leisure when the shows launch this month. In a statement, Eddy Cue, Apple's ITunes head, said that NBC was demanding an increase in the download charge to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. "We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase." In response, an NBC spokesman said that Apple's pricing "is designed to drive sales of Apple devices at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying." (Some critics of the NBC stance immediately pointed out that the greater the number of video iPods sold by Apple, the larger the market for NBC's content.) He added that NBC was seeking "flexibility" in its pricing and the ability to package some episodes together.
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