updated 04:20 pm EDT, Thu September 11, 2008
Apple refutes concession
Apple did not make any concessions to NBC in order to get the network back on iTunes, says Apple's vice president for the iTunes Store. Eddy Cue refutes claims from NBC digital head JB Perrette, who on Tuesday suggested that Apple tailored its new pricing specifically to lure NBC. "Frankly, ever since we dropped our relationship with Apple last fall, they have made a gradual progression culminating in [Tuesday's announcement]," Perrette added.
Cue comments that while standard episode pricing is $1.99 on iTunes, Apple has always allowed networks to charge less for videos, citing 99-cent episodes for shows like South Park and Ice Road Truckers. Regarding HD content, Cue notes that the extra $1 fee is applied universally, rather than just to NBC files. "People can see [Showtime's] Californication in HD live right now on the site," he says.
The executive also defends against the notion that custom bundles were allowed for NBC. "If you look at some of the things we've done for holidays," according to Cue, "we've had holiday packages with shows with the right themes. We've done things in the past with big name actors so we've packaged those things in the past."
"We're glad to have NBC back," Cue muses, "and they are participating under the same terms with all of the other content providers."