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Apple Drops NBC Content from iTunes

4 Sep, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Apple Aug. 31 said it would cease selling downloads of NBC television programming on iTunes.

The computer manufacturer said the decision was due to a refusal to pay more than double the current wholesale cost for NBC programming.

Apple said acquiescing to NBC's rate increase demands would have resulted in it upping the retail cost per episodic download from $1.99 to $4.99.

Rival networks ABC, CBS and FOX along with more than 50 cable networks remained committed to sell TV content from their upcoming fall seasons on iTunes at the current $1.99 per episode price, according to Apple.

“We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase,” said Eddy Cue, VP of iTunes. “We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers.”

Apple's agreement for 1,500 hours of NBC programming ends in December but it decided to withdraw the network's shows from iTunes for the upcoming television season beginning in September.

The loss would appear mutually negative in the short term as NBC loses a popular platform to promote and repurpose content while Apple loses three of its 10 bestselling TV shows last season, which accounted for 30% of iTunes TV show sales, according to Apple.

NBC Universal and News Corp. have slated to bow a beta edition of their joint venture video file-sharing site, Hulu, in October.

A representative from NBC Universal was not immediately available for comment.

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