RealTime IT News

NBC Doing Just Fine After Apple Break

NBC's grieving period, if there had ever been one, is over. NBC Universal TV content is now available on Amazon Unbox, Amazon.com's digital video download service. And Amazon is happy to have NBC name its price.

Starting on Sept. 10, NBC and Amazon will make pilot episodes of this fall's new shows available for free in advance of their network premieres, including Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman and Life. Additional NBC shows available on Unbox will be The Office, Heroes and 30 Rock. NBC Universal's networks include NBC, USA Network, Sci-Fi Channel, Bravo, Telemundo, mun2, NBC Sports, and NBC News.

The news comes after a tawdry and highly public break-up between NBC and Apple last week. First, NBC confirmed a report that negotiations to renew its contract to sell its shows through Apple's iTunes store had fallen through. Talk circulated that NBC hoped negotiations would pick up again, however.

But then Apple dropped the hammer and said it was pulling NBC shows off its virtual shelves immediately even though the current contract didn't expire until December.

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

Amazon's aggressive move is characteristic of its competition with Apple in the content-download business.

When Apple announced in April it would sell DRM-free versions of record label EMI's digital music catalog, Amazon soon followed with plans of its own to offer DRM-free MP3 format songs from more than 12,000 record labels, starting with EMI Music's digital catalog.

In July, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos flew executives from the online music store start-up Amie Street out to California for a meeting. By August, Amazon announced it contributed to Amie Street's series A financing.

New episodes from NBC shows will appear on Unbox the night after they air on TV, joining Amazon's catalog of 10,000 television shows, movies and other video content for rent or purchase.