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NBC Programming Returns to iTunes

9 Sep, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Following a one-year hiatus, NBC’s top 10 primetime television series are again available for download and streaming on Apple’s ubiquitous iTunes music store.

NBC Universal made the announcement Sept. 9 to coincide with Apple’s “Let’s Rock” iPod media event in San Francisco. At the event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said updated platform iTunes 8 would for the first time offer content in high-definition for playback on a PC or Apple TV.

“We are thrilled that NBC is back on iTunes in time for the Fall TV season,” Jobs said.

Financial terms regarding NBC’s return were not disclosed.

For the next two weeks, premiere episodes of upcoming NBC shows “Knight Rider,” “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Kath & Kim” will be available for free on iTunes (and Hulu.com) a week before their broadcast premieres later this month and October.

Subsequent episodes will be available the day after the network broadcast for $1.99 in standard definition and $2.99 in high-def.

Additionally, content from USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, Bravo, Sleuth and NBC News returns to iTunes, including “Heroes” and Emmy award-winning programs “The Office,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “30 Rock.”

NBC is also making full episodes of vintage TV shows available for 99 cents, including “The A-Team,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “Miami Vice,” “Kojak” and the original “Battlestar Galactica.”

Content from NBC Universal affiliates Oxygen, Telemundo, Mun2 and NBC Sports will be available on iTunes in the near future.

“The return of our shows to iTunes is terrific news for everyone who loves television and the ease and convenience of Apple’s iTunes,” said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal. “And now, by offering consumers a variety of new options, our fans have even more ways to enjoy our content.”

NBC reportedly made $15 million annually from iTunes and claimed its programming accounted for 40% of the site’s revenue.

When NBC subsequently attempted to increase episode license fees to $1.99, the same price Apple charged consumers, Jobs balked and NBC removed its primetime programming.

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