updated 08:10 pm EDT, Tue September 4, 2007
NBC goes to Amazon Unbox
NBC Universal has announced that it will sell episodes of its new fall television shows using Amazon's Unbox digital download service, a quick rebound after ties were severed with Apple last week. Shows like "The Office" and "Heroes" are currently available for $1.99 on Unbox (the same price at which they were offered through Apple's iTunes Store) and new episodes will be added to the site they day after they air. Last Friday, NBC Universal said it would no longer offer episodes of its TV shows through the iTunes Store. Apple countered by terminating NBC's iTunes Contract, announcing that it would not sell NBC television shows for the upcoming television season.
Apple claimed it had declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. NBC Universal later said it never asked to double the wholesale price--as Apple claimed--and insisted its network shows will be sold by the iTunes Store through early December, adding that Apple needs do more about piracy and that the iTunes pricing strategy is hurting content providers.
Regarding the new Unbox deal, The Associated Press reports "Customers will be able to buy an entire season of a show at once. Free pilot episodes of NBC's new fall shows, such as 'Bionic Woman' and 'Chuck,' will appear starting Sept. 10. The NBC content can be played, without commercials, on the computer screen, or on a TV through a Web-enabled TiVo set-top box."
ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are still currently signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.