NBC ends iTunes contract

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NBC ends iTunes contract

Television studio NBC is to stop selling its shows on Apple's iTunes store after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the pricing of each episode.

NBC content will be available until December, when the current deal expires. According to Apple, NBC wanted to increase the price of each episode from US$1.99 to US$4.99.

"We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because Apple would not agree to their dramatic price increase," said Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes.

"We hope that NBC will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers."

However, Cory Shields, vice president of communications at NBC, flatly denied Apple's claims in a statement provided to www.vnunet.com. "We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows," he said.

"In fact, our negotiations were centred on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers."

Shields alleges that Apple was keeping prices unfairly low in an attempt to promote its own products.

"It is clear that Apple's retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices, at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying," he said.

While NBC will lose a distribution channel that sold tens of millions of its programmes, Apple could be hit just as hard by the move.

By the company's own estimates, NBC shows account for 30 per cent of iTunes TV sales, and three of the service's 10 best-selling programmes were produced by the studio.

NBC is the second major iTunes partner to have a falling out with Apple this summer. In July, negotiations between Apple and record label Universal Music were said to be at an impasse.

Shortly after, Universal Music left Apple out of its DRM-free music programme.
Copyright ©v3.co.uk

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