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NBC switches TV shows to SanDisk service

updated 11:35 am EST, Tue December 11, 2007

NBC on SanDisk Fanfare

NBC today announced that it would bring its TV shows to SanDisk's recently unveiled Fanfare video service, significantly expanding the beta-stage video download site's catalog beyond existing offerings from CBS, Showtime, and similar networks. The deal will land much of the content from NBC's main station, including 30 Rock and Heroes; affiliated channels such as Bravo and USA Network will also be available. Fanfare allows viewing on the computer but is primarily designed to pair up with SanDisk's Sansa TakeTV, which serves as a transportable video player for TVs and is hte only device so far that will play Fanfare content.

NBC has not yet revealed whether it will rely on either of SanDisk's primary business models for video. The service allows producers to either offer episodes for free with embedded ads or to sell them for $2 each as ad-free versions. NBC's joint venture with News Corp, Hulu, currently offers shows for free but only allows web viewing, in part to enable dynamic ads that are replaced over time.

The network's decision is likely a response to Apple's decision to pull NBC shows from the iTunes Store last week as the result of unsuccessful attempts by the two parties to agree on a contract for video sales. The broadcaster has accused Apple of being too rigid in its price structure by insisting that all shows sell for the same price and declining the option of bundling shows. Apple in return claims NBC has asked to charge as much as $5 for a single episode, a claim which NBC later denied.

by MacNN Staff



  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NBC Doesn't Get It

    Apple doesn't need content sales to sell iPods. People find their own ways to get content onto the devices. NBC, on the other hand, needs iPods to make content sales worthwhile.sddssa

  1. wadepeeler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows only

    The Sandisk Fanfare service only works on Windows. Their FAQ, in answer to the question of whether or not it works on Windows says (paraphrasing because it won't allow me to copy/paste), "Nope. Sorry, the Fanfare service only works on Windows XP SP2 or later." By which answer I get the idea that they're saying they don't support Macs and never will. Their site also doesn't work very well with Firefox: Firefox gets all sluggish on their site, the address drop-down becomes disabled, and right-clicking seems to be disabled as well.

  1. jmelrose

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lucky for them

    So far the service's content providers are:

    CBS (fine) Smithsonian networks (never heard of it) TV Guide (ooh! channel listings for what I'm not watching on TV since I'm using Fanfare!) Weather Channel (yay! I can download yesterday's forecast! Hallelujah!) Jaman ::(never heard of it)

    NBC joins some fine company there...

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Everyone who cares, raise there hands. Anyone, anyone?

  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    NBC is obviously run by a vindictive child. The fact that they are doing the same deal they had with Apple, with SanDisk makes it clear. NBC will not go out of business as a result, but they will lose more than should have had they not been so petulant!

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ditto njfuzzy

    There are definitely plenty of ways to get the video content into your library. If you even glance at some of the P2P networks, there are ad-free versions of TiVO'ed shows all over the place, in FULL quality.

    Isolating a lot of people out of the availability loop only drives them to other, shadier means. The openness of the iTMS and relative lack of expense for content is WHY it is successful.

    So, kick back and watch NBC flail around in the digital water until they desperately leap and something else to try and save themselves. Meanwhile, Steve'o will be standing with a branch in hand, waiting for the simple question.

  1. Smurfman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    NBC is definitely not acting in an intelligent, professional manner. You would think, being as big as they are, they would behave professionally and use some of their "brain-power".

    I wonder... If NBC employees were polled about what they think of NBC's decision to neglect iTunes as well as Apple Mac customers, would they be for NBC or Apple?

    I have a feeling NBC's direction away from iTunes and toward everything else "under-par", is a decision made by VERY FEW up top. My bet would be that 99% of NBC employees think NBC made a bad choice in moving away from iTunes.

    It will be interesting to watch them flail for a bit.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pricing is the reason...

    ....NBC said they were leaving iTunes. They wanted to charge more for TV shows. I am glad they were able to squeeze SanDisk for that extra $0.01 a show!

    I am calling my broker now and buying all the GE stock I can afford.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Less than 1%

    Apple controls 99% of the TV download market. So NBC has switched to a company that controls a fraction of 1% of the market.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    thank god for

    bittorrent, handbrake, and isquint/visual hub

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