Sunday, May 11, 2008

NBC appears to be courting Apple once again

NBC appears to be courting Apple once again

With Apple now streaming NBC shows to iPhones through its dedicated portal, and the network's properties appearing on the iTunes UK store, are the two sides ready to settle their differences?

Several shows are now available for download through the NBC iPhone portal, including Heroes, Eureka, The Incredible Hulk, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and House, shown in America on Fox.

Apparently, NBC has gotten its way with variable pricing, with older shows available for £1.19 per episode, and the newer shows selling for £1.89. That higher retail price is the same as other current video downloads on the store.

Making matters all the more unclear is the availability of The Office and 30 Rock to iPhone users who surf to the NBC portal. While the quality as tested by BetaNews was less than spectacular, it still represents a softening of its previous stance against Apple.

While neither Apple nor NBC have yet to comment publicly on what these developments may mean, it may signal the Cupertino company's eventual concession to the content creator's demands.

Much of the disagreement surrounded pricing structures. Since iTunes UK is offering two pricing levels for content, it appears that the company may be ready to compromise there.

It may also be that Zune is posing an increasing threat to iTunes -- Microsoft signed an agreement with NBC on Tuesday -- which could push Apple to make a move.


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