Apple, today, announced that they will be dropping NBC from its offerings on the iTunes Store. NBC is up for renewal in Dec with their contract with Apple. In order to continue, they have demanded that Apple pay more than double their current wholesale price to offer NBC shows. That increase would mean that episodes would go from $1.99 to $4.99 on iTunes. That is a very hefty price just to watch a show that is free on their website (if you want to watch it at your computer).
I am sure that Universal/Vivendi is behind this move, as Universal Music has long since wanted to raise their prices in iTunes as well. Is it time for the world to start a boycott of this behemouth that seems to feel they need to rip their customers a new one to have access to their material? I would love to do this, save for 2 problems! Eureka and Heroes. These are two of my absolute favorite shows on TV right now. Both of them attached to the NBC label of networks. If I want to truly boycott NBC, I would have to give up two of the three shows I make a point of watching every week. Damn them for having me in their clutches!
I give Apple the thumbs up for standing up for what is right. They don’t want to raise prices on their customers, and it is good to see that they will fight for that over the profit they will loose. Let’s hope that this doesn’t become a trend for other networks that want to raise their prices. It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s Unbox raises their prices, currently at $1.99 like Apple’s. If they are given the same stipulation that Apple has been given, will they turn on NBC, or will they decide they want the profit more? Or will they still be able to get the same deal with NBC that they are currently being given?
I don’t fully understand why it is that Universal/NBC feels that they want to do this, as I am sure many others don’t. Do they really want to send everyone running back to piracy to get the content they are after? I can certainly guarantee that if the price had gone to $4.99 per episode, that there are a large number of people that would have looked that way. Now that NBC Will be absent from iTunes, that may very well be where those people end up anyway. What’s better there Universal? A loss of revenue becuase of prices going up, or a loss of profit from the loss of the largest online retailer of music and video? Either way, this is going to send people right back to piracy that Apple has opened the iTunes store to fight.
Will, I fully boycott NBC? I don’t know… Heroes is the best show to come along on TV in a very long time. I guess it will be time to just go back to recording the show and having to put up with forwarding through commercials.