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NBC Universal Drops iTunes

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the taking-their-ball-and-going-home dept.

Media (Apple) 691

An anonymous reader writes "NBC Universal has cancelled its iTunes contract and will withdraw the television shows it currently offers through the service in December, when the current contract expires. This is a huge blow for the service, as NBC is the controlling interest in Apple customer-friendly intellectual properties like The Office, Battlestar Galactica, My Name is Earl and Heroes. From the article: 'The decision to withdraw the content follows disagreements between the two firms. Apple is thought to have rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing. Apple was informed of NBC Universal's decision late last night. The report states that neither Apple nor NBC Universal would comment on the matter, but said they continue to talk, "free of acrimony".'" Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

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Your only alternative? (5, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423923)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Uh, watching it for free over-the-air?

Re:Your only alternative? (2, Interesting)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423943)

Ooooooooooooo you used logic and common sense in your first post....you're gonna get modded flamebait...ooooooo

In other news man who can not watch a TV show does NOT die of cancer.....

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Funny)

MrDoh1 (906953) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423973)

Buying them legally from a store might also be another idea, novel as it may be.

Re:Your only alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424071)

why when i really did mean to record it

Re:Your only alternative? (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424073)

It is a pretty novel idea. Most new shows aren't available like that. This particular show didn't even have that option until this week.

What about the rest of the NBC lineup?

Re:Your only alternative? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424027)

Sorry NBC... I'm too far away from your transmission tower.

My suburban HOA won't allow for an antenna that can tune in your signal well enough.

Re:Your only alternative? (3, Insightful)

Wanderer1 (47145) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424087)

You could stop watching the show. It's not an entitlement.

There are other businesses to support with your attention. That's my point. But breaking the US law (no matter how unfair the law is, and assuming you're in the US) shouldn't be the alternative. It isn't working. It's not a form of civil disobedience that seems to have the effect we need in order to call attention to unfair/unjust law.

W

Re:Your only alternative? (0, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424161)

You could stop watching the show. It's not an entitlement.

More importantly it's not very good.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424249)

When the law is STUPID, it should be ignored.

We are AMERICANS, not sheep.

I get the show "legitmately". I still like to download it due to the fact that DirectTV over compresses it's network channels.

In the end, it boils down to wanting to arrest people for eating their egg from the wrong end.

Re:Your only alternative? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424361)

The fact that you didn't like one of the options for getting the show neither legitimizes your infringement of the Constitutionally defined rights of the copyright holder, nor eliminates the myriad other options for obtaining the show. Your justification is weak sauce, sir.

Re:Your only alternative? (1)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424297)

But breaking the US law (no matter how unfair the law is, and assuming you're in the US) shouldn't be the alternative.

Why not? It's not exactly murder or rape, now is it? There are so, so many laws on the books bought and paid for by the rich, for the benefit of the rich. I just don't feel compelled to obey them.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Informative)

gozar (39392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424141)

Sorry NBC... I'm too far away from your transmission tower. My suburban HOA won't allow for an antenna that can tune in your signal well enough.

They can't do that [fcc.gov]:

The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Re:Your only alternative? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424251)

Thank you, informative parent, for clearing the FUD in the air. GP just wants to justify piracy.

Re:Your only alternative? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424337)

Sure they can. Many such HOAs are deed-restricted communities. IOW, the HOA hold the title to the land, you hold the title to the house. You can install the antenna, but I'm sorry, you'll have to move your house off our land. Seriously. This is done every day in America.

Re:Your only alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424037)

More valuable insight into the inner workings of the mind of Zonk. His critical thinking skills seem to stop far shorter than they should.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Insightful)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424055)

I think it's a fair point though. The studios, rather than hitting every market they can--DVD, iTMS, cable--have decided to forego certain sectors of the demand curve in order to curve demand as they want.

It's a battle between how studios want to deliver their content and how consumers want to receive it. Before the web, there weren't options. Now there are, and the studios have to realize that this is a battle they will eventually lose. They could offer cheap, protected, legal access to their content, but instead they're daring users to circumvent the law. Aquinas noted centuries ago that human law cannot compel the obedience of conscience. It's not like they don't know they're going to lose--they just don't want to realize it. Screw 'em.

Re:Your only alternative? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424147)

They could offer cheap, protected, legal access to their content, but instead they're daring users to circumvent the law.

You mean like offering the shows for viewing on their website? Oh wait, they do that already. But people like Zonk have decided that that's not good enough for him, so instead he'll resort to pirating it. I seriously doubt Zonk was purchasing the show from iTMS when it was available anyways.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424305)

As other posters have rightly pointed out, the free/ad-supported shows streamed from the website basically suck big rocks, quality-wise. Actually, watching a few eps of Heroes that way was what got me to buy the whole season off of iTunes -- because I wanted it with good quality, and no ads. I'm not morally outraged that NBC has pulled it -- they're welcome to cut their throats however they like. But I probably will d/l full-rez, ad-free video instead of watching the crap teaser-quality stuff on the NBC site. Yes, as the grandparent says, NBC is effectively daring me to do this, whether you like it or not. As others have pointed out, this is just market and technological reality.

By the way, do you know Zonk personally, that you're in a position to call him a liar? Or are you just being a knee-jerk stuffed shirt DRM apologist and going on the attack?

Re:Your only alternative? (3, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424179)

They allow you to watch the episode for free on their website. How much more access do you need, exactly?

It doesn't matter how entitled you feel to the entertainment. The constitution grants the copyright holder the right to make the distribution decisions. No matter how much you want that entertainment, circumventing that right is an infringement.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424067)

My over-the-air reception is crap. (I get a few channels with a lot of static.) My HD over-the-air is even worse. (I get 1 channel, sometimes, with a lot of corruption in the video and audio.)

I don't have any faith that this will get better because most people have cable (including me) and there really -isn't- another choice. (Satellite and cable are the same thing by different methods.)

In reality, the other options are:

A) Wait for it on DVD.
B) Watch it streamed from the site in a little 2" by 2" box.
C) Download it illegally and without commercials and in full quality, watchable wherever and whenever I like.

Gee... Wonder which most people would pick? If it wasn't for the waiting part, I'd cancel my cable service and buy the DVDs instead. I figure it'll cost the same per year (I only like a few shows) and it'll be better quality and more reliable. I just don't want to wait 6 months or a year and then try to talk to my friends about the eps... It doesn't work.

Re:Your only alternative? (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424229)

Gee... Wonder which most people would pick?

Probably watching it on DVD. Plenty of us realize that by pirating our entertainment, we essentially have cut out the ability for them to make more. Beyond that, lots of us also realize we aren't entitled to free entertainment, and frankly, it's not so important as to be a requirement.

In my opinion (here's where I become an asshole) it takes a particularly immature mind to believe that downloading commercially sold entertainment in an illegal fashion is somehow the morally superior alternative.

Re:Your only alternative? (2, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424233)

Umm....how about:

D) Get an antenna and view NBC via OTA hi-def?


There are options here, and they aren't that tough if you are really don't want cable, yet you want to watch Heroes.

Re:Your only alternative? (1)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424221)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Uh, watching it for free over-the-air?
Try and get on NBCUs and News Corps http://www.hulu.com/ [hulu.com] if you want to watch ad supported network shows online .

HULU is one of the biggest reasons NBC are dropping iTunes like a stone and they also don't want iIunes and Steve Jobs dominating the online video space .

Re:Your only alternative? (1)

skmeekums (1115295) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424353)

Cool microbrewer. Thanks for this link. I signed up for the beta and wouldn't have known about it but for your post.

Nope: Netflix: Rent-Rip-Return (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424223)

>Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes.
>Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Netflix: Rent-Rip-Return

Nice editorializing (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423927)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
Watch it over the air as NBC is a broadcast station? Failing that, watch it on NBC.com? Failing that, buy it on DVD?

Hmm (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20423931)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

DVD?

Well, I don't know about other shows (3, Informative)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423933)

But I watched most of Season 1 of Heroes on their official site. Here's hoping Season 2 continues that way.

DVD? (1)

j.bellone (684938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423953)

I guess we are forgetting about Heroes on DVD. Personally, I would rather have it on a physical format anyway. You can call me old school, old fashioned or paranoid; but I'd rather know that NBC can't just cancel their contract with my provider and I'm left screwed for the rest of the season.

Use an Antenna (5, Insightful)

Jaguar777 (189036) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423955)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
I know you meant to imply your only alternative would be illegally downloading the show, but you have plenty of options if you really must watch Heroes.

1) Use an Antenna. It's called broadcast TV.
2) Go to a friends house. You do have friends right?
3) Go out to a public place that has Heroes on their TV.
4) Wait to buy the DVD's.

Most of these options don't even involve paying NBC.

Yes, a little hyperbole in my reply, but no more than "Guess what my only alternative will be".

Another alternative is to drop 'em alltogether. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424111)

Don't be a jerk, sittin' in you chair, suckin' on the glass teat and munching Fritoes, go out and have some fun instead.

Re:Use an Antenna (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424117)

1. What if you can get an NBC station with your Antenna. I know that I can not where I live.
2. I think your friends will get a little ticked off with the weekly vists.
3. HUH????
4. So I need to wait until the end of the season.

I think NBC is makeing a huge mistake.
1. More DRM on iTunes? People you BROADCAST IT OVER THE AIR. I make DRM free recordings of your shows on my computer NOW! They Torrents are out NOW. They are not coming from iTunes.
2. Flexible pricing? You mean jack up the pricing. Oh well. As I said I can get it for free now. I guess I will start recording more shows with my computer and buy less with iTunes.

Dumb...

Re:Use an Antenna (3, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424255)

2. I think your friends will get a little ticked off with the weekly vists.

You have pretty shitty friends if they can't handle you for one hour a week. Or you're a pretty shitty friend. Either way.

Re:Use an Antenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424303)

Somehow I find it hard to believe that if you bought a proper antenna (not some cheap rabbit ears), you will get NBC OTA.

Alternatives (1)

invdaic (88360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423957)

Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes

Waiting for it to come out on DVD and buying it at a local retail store? That's what you were thinking right?

Re:Alternatives (0, Offtopic)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424225)

"If IE is 'just a web browser' then emacs is 'just a text editor'."

Well at least you can run a decent text editor inside emacs. How do you run a decent web browser in internet explorer?

Existing purchases... (2, Interesting)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423961)

So what will happen to people's existing purchases after the cut-off date? Will they continue to work or will Apple just do what Google has done with their premium video service?

Re:Existing purchases... (1)

monomania (595068) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424033)

They will continue to work as this was not a subscription model AFAIK (I have purchased other video but not NBC shows but I believe the model is the same). I would be willing to bet whatever download-venue NBC goes with (if any) the issue will be, rather, will future downloads work as well.

Re:Existing purchases... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424097)

They will continue to work. For example, I purchased a song on iTunes that for some reason is no longer available, but even after multiple reformats on my OS partition I am able to listen to it.

Re:Existing purchases... (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424145)

Utterly uniformed speculation follows:

I would hope that Apple is operating in a manner that ensures that their customers are able to make use of their purchases as long as the Apple service related to media distribution continues. I was under the impression that the issues with Google where that they were dismantling the infrastructure that supported their media offering and were therefore unable to honour their agreements with both their customers and the media producers. I would say that this shows that entertainment as a Service (EaaS anyone?) doesn't work if the customer wants to have long term access to their EaaS products and the content is held remote, or contains remotely managed DRM.

The assumption I am making here is that Apple's customers have local copies of the media that they purchased and that any DRM can still be managed in the same way as other Apple media. It would be interesting to see what happened if an Apple customer needed to get a copy of the things they had purchased, given that Apple may bno longer have the right to distribute the material.

In either case we will see soon how smart Apple has been with regard to the contracts it has with its media producers and how much effort they have put into protecting their customers.

   

Re:Existing purchases... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424313)

No problem. I purchased a song a while back that is no longer offered on iTunes for some reason. It still has the DRM on it and I can still listen to it on my "authorized" PCs, even after multiple reformats and such.

In simplest terms each file is locked to your account whether or not the file is still available for sale, and via iTunes you can authorize a machine to play music purchased by your account.

iTunes isn't a subscription, you download the media file with a piece of DRM. The DRM then essentially says "you can only play this file if this machine is authorized for your account." You can have up to 5 devices activated for an account, so you can listen to it on your laptop, desktop, iPod, etc. Authorization only takes a second or 2, but once authorized you don't need an Internet connection to listen to said music.

If you try activating a 6th device you'll need to unauthorize 1 of the 5 current devices, and the function is available via iTunes installed on that device. Or, if you no longer have access to that device there's a option to de-authorize ALL of your devices so you can start authorizing from scratch.

So, a

alternative? (0, Redundant)

vena (318873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423967)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

well, they do offer it for free on their own site.

and then there's, you know, the free airwaves.

Re:alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424069)

Question: If I record it into a video file off of the free airwaves, is that stealing?

Bah, who cares Heroes is just Lost for the mentally challenged.... and Lost will always be on iTunes...

don't worry - you will have your chance to PAY (2, Interesting)

zoomcloud (445893) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423969)

NBC will provide alternative means to pay for and download your shows. Expect a M$-based solution, which will provide the DRC they're looking for.

Re:don't worry - you will have your chance to PAY (1)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424015)

What the Democratic Republic of the Congo?! Not those jokers again. ;-)

Re:don't worry - you will have your chance to PAY (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424317)

Digital Rights Control?
Digital Rights Cancellation?
Draconian Restrictions (against our) Customers?
Derideo (mei) Rectum Carmen (-- I know its a poor attempt)

Risky (1, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423971)

While its a blow to Apple, Universal is turning it's back an a huge revenue source. I think Apple is number 3 in all music sales right now. This should be good! Pop some popcorn, Folks, a corporate UFC is about to ensue!

Yes! (0, Troll)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423975)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Um, buy it from somewhere other than iTunes? I didn't see NBC announcing they won't be selling shows anymore.

I see this as a HUGE win. I DESPISE the Windows client for iTunes. It is utter crap on the order of the Quicktime client (not as bad as that, but then, nothing is as bad as that). Apple us totally and completely incompetent when it comes to Windows programming.

Re:Yes! (1)

notneverwired (782950) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424149)

amen!~ I've drunk the apple kool-aid many times over, but iTunes/Quicktime/Safari for windows blows so damn hard. Turbo hard.

re: iTunes/QT for Windows (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424331)

I've got to say, I'm pretty lost as to why some people keep making these comments?

I know iTunes and Windows Vista had some issues - but that's not really shocking, considering how many other things aren't quite Vista compatible.

Overall though, geez... Quicktime player has been used in Windows since version 3.1, as a de-facto standard for playing multimedia files off CD. It's not exactly something Apple just "slapped together to say they had a Windows version".

Safari for Windows? Nothing special there, but it's also a very first attempt at doing it for the platform, and it's FREE software too. As others pointed out, it's probably relased right now mainly to allow easier development for the iPhone from a Windows box, plus giving people the option to use the same browser they have on their Mac, if they so desire. Apple's not auto-deleting your copies of Firefox and IE 7 just because you installed it or anything, so why the big fuss?

Re:Yes! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424155)

Oh yeah, because it is going to be so much better when it is using some M$-DRM'ed format, or something even worse, where you can only use it on certain versions of Windows with certain versions of the software. Not to even mention the millions of people who don't use Windows. The problem here isn't Apple or Apple's programmers (who couldn't even figure out how to write a preemptive scheduler), it is NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM, or more generally, the notion that every single person will definitely pirate material unless it is locked down to the point where it is barely usable at all.

Re:Yes! (1)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424201)

I don't know how recently you have used iTunes, but version 7.3 is excellent on Macs and pretty good on Windows. Never had problems with it outside of a little lag on the Windows client.

I'm guessing... (0, Troll)

javelinco (652113) | more than 6 years ago | (#20423991)

Your only choice is to steal it, in your little mind. Ever think that your "only choice" is to steal it, watch it @ a friend's house, get cable, or not watch it at all? NAH! Steal it.

Re:I'm guessing... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424101)

...of course. Because all of those options are oh, so morally superior to just downloading it.

How can you "steal" something the owner is already giving away for free en masse?

Hmmm... (0, Redundant)

cicatrix (58686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424001)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?
Wait for it to come out on DVD?

Only option? I think not. (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424003)

...somehow I don't agree with you if you're insisting your only alternative is to steal it. You could sign up for cable. You could wait for the dvd's to come out and buy them. It's ridiculous to assume that stealing is the only option, as well as a right one. You could also just not watch the shows...

Too many middle-men (1)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424017)

These sort of things will continue to happen because both apple and NBC (or insert whatever label/network) are trying to be the distributor and reap the profits that business model. Unfortunately for NBC, Apple has beat them in the new order of distribution and they will loose a ever expanding market if they don't work with them, but unfortunately for Apple the labels and networks still control the content. Sooner or later somebody will figure out how to control (or at least work with) both. I suppose in a utopia independent artists could strike a deal directly with the distributor and avoid the network/label business all together. But, as is the nature of most utopian visions, the devil is in the details.

OMG Exec Meeting Now!! (0, Flamebait)

SQLz (564901) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424059)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Oh my god, the company is going to fail. We are about to lose a single viewer...what do we do?

Only Alternative (2, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424063)


Buy DVD's?

Rent from NetFlix?

Watch it on your Xbox 360?

Or use that crazy thing called an "antenna"?

Yet another option (4, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424163)

Maybe get out of the house and find a girlfriend.

Failing that, at least spend more time surfing for porn.

Re:Only Alternative (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424367)

Or reverse your "choice" and get cable? We're not talking about a vasectomy here, and even those are usually reversible.

Universal are smart and this is all they could do. (5, Interesting)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424113)

Lets face it, Universal own the content, and content rules. They haven't been able to distribute the content how they want with Apple, so they are calling Apples bluff. The thing is, if they market another service well enough (and it does come down to marketing) and that service has the content, then they will get exactly what they want - more than one service selling prime content and therefore a competitive market for selling content meaning better margin for them.

Universal are in a losing situation by having their content in only one marketplace.

As much as I love Apple and their ethics, it was overdue. The only way that Universal can lose is if they fail to market the new service they have selling the content.

OP is a bit naive thinking he won't be able to buy Universal content any more!!

Re:Universal are smart and this is all they could (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424321)

more than one service selling prime content and therefore a competitive market for selling content meaning better margin for them.
Wouldn't pushing another service that competes with iTunes cause the prices (and profit margins) to go down?

Re:Universal are smart and this is all they could (1)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424373)

Lets face it, Universal own the content, and content rules

Wrong. Distribution rules in most economic systems. The distributor controls the producer's access to the audience, and the audience's control to the content. As an earlier post above pointed out, iTunes is a different form of distribution, and is therefore a competitor to NBC. But since old media can't figure out how to handle technological and social change, they're paralyzed. They need to make as much money as possible out of alternative means of distributing each episode of Heroes, since broadcast loses another couple percent of its viewership each year.

This does seem like part of a full-court press by all parts of Universal (music, TV, etc.), against iTunes, which strikes me as somewhat silly in the end, because Apple's power (and profits) come from the iPod, not iTunes. Apple probably doesn't care that much if iTunes faces competition, as long as stuff still works on the iPod (and who in their right mind would release in an iPod-incompatible format today? Only Microsoft, and how's that working out for them?). It's like saying that Shutterfly is a mortal threat to iPhoto, since it competes with iPhoto's built-in service to order prints. Guess what? Either way, customers are still buying high-margin Macs and iLife.

It's contrary to the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424115)

but it's free, has no ads, can be played whenever you want, is available anywhere in the world within hours of showing on air (anywhere in the world) and it can be played on computers, plenty of very cheap DVD players as well as many devices.

Coming soon, iTunes or not: Heroes.S02E01.HDTV.XviD-SOMEONE.avi.torrent

Rejection (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424129)

Apple is thought to have rejected NBC's demands for more restrictive DRM and the introduction of flexible pricing.

Now, assuming I bothered to buy these things and not just do without or wait until they are out on DVD, those are some mixed offerings.

More restrictive DRM would have been bad and caused more issues for legitimate customers (but this is Slashdot and we know that already).

Flexible pricing could have been a good thing, though, assuming it wasn't "we want the ability to flex the price so most episodes are the price they are now but the most recent ones start going up in increments to double the price for the most recent one".

Your only OTHER alternative (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424131)

Clearly he means that he'll have to emigrate to the UK where it's broadcast on TV at 9pm.

Still, if that's what it takes to see your favourite shows, that's what commitment is all about.
 

Re:Your only OTHER alternative (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424205)

You can't really expect Americans to do that, can you? That'd involve them also having to pay that terrible TV tax that we call the "TV License".

Yes, it's so terrible to pay a little over £100 per year to be able to watch Heroes and other good quality TV without adverts or interruptions (because Heroes in the UK is on BBC and our license fees fund the BBC and their no-adverts content, in case people didn't know).

Now if only BBC could get the Formula 1 back on so we didn't have ad breaks in the middle of that as well...

Itunes sucks - No Widescreen or High Definition!!! (1)

trebor72 (1150253) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424167)

I bought an episode of Lost off of iTunes and I didn't even end up watching it because it was in 3:4 aspect ration (no freaking widescreen?!) and there was no option to purchase an HD version. Maybe I'm a bit of a TV tech snob but I need both of those things for my hour long dramas.

Alternative legal routes for BSG? (1)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424173)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

In a similar veign, with BSG going into its final year, what are us cable/satellite-free BSG fans to do?

Err, try again? (4, Insightful)

Nodamnnicknamesavial (1095665) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424183)

"Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?"

Getting cable.

I'm broke, and I have CHOSEN to not get a job, so my only alternative is to steal? Rubbish.

The good consumer alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424193)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Watch it from www.nbc.com/Video/ of course, brought to you by Excedrin® with limited commercial interruptions.

Back to the Pirate Bay for me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424211)

Not really. I live in China, and can get real pirate copies on the street.

I paid for iTunes because it gave me what I wanted (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424231)

I'm sure there will be other alternatives like antenna or going somewhere else but the fact remains:

1) I paid for a ton of NBC shows on itunes the last few seasons, literally spending hundreds of dollars. I did this because I liked having them in reasonably high def, commercial free, reasonably close to the time of initial broadcast and using a program I already was comfortable with little or no work on my part past the initial purchase.
2) I had planned to do it again.
3) Now I probably will either not watch the shows at all. The next most likely solution is to download a torrent.

Its not that there arn't other ways to watch it. Its that none of the other ways to watch it provide the right mix of convienence, quality and lack of interruption. Having the shows on itunes didn't give me exactly what I wanted, but it gave me enough that I was willing to pay for it. If I have to install another program(and its associated additional drm and god knows what else), or put up with ads, or put up with low quality broadcasts, or put up with having to watch it at a specific time, or put up with a cable provider/dvr, or wait 6-18 months for a DVD or any of that other stuff, then its just not worth the time or the money.

I want it on my computer, when its released, with minimal hassle and no interruption. For that service, I'm willing to pay. Otherwise, its not worth it.

No low-cost option left (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424239)

Watch it for free over-the-air? No such thing in Canada (the channels list is pathetic).
Watch it free on NBC's website? No, they filter IPs and only allow americans.
Buy it on the iTunes Store? Nope, we still don't have movies and TV shows in the Canadian store.

My only other options are either cable or satellite, and both are forcing us to pay for "packages" that include 200 channels we don't want to get the 10 channels we want.

Guess what's my other alternative?

more restrictive DRM? (4, Insightful)

mmeister (862972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424243)

One of the reasons given was that NBC Universal wanted to add more restrictive DRM to the shows and Apple said no.

If Universal would win that battle, then WE ALL lose out. Remember, this is the same network that f*cked with its time schedule so shows ended at 8:31 and such to try and f*ck Tivo owners. That shows you just what they think about the viewer. I'm sure the new DRM ideas would have us in mind, as in how can we make this experience more painful for the content viewer.

This will just make it more likely that I won't watch NBC shows. I am personally tired of networks dictating what time and where I should be watching their content. That's so last century thinking. Yeah, you can go to NBC.com, if you don't mind being tethered to streaming content, which sucks if you're not on the net when you have time/want to watch a show.

Accuracy (4, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424291)

I know I'm not new here, but I'd just like to say that the article is self-contradictory. NBC is not pulling anything off of iTunes for months at the earliest, and contract negotiations to keep them on the site continue.

In other words, this article can be summarized as "NBC, looking for some leverage in ongoing negotiations with Apple over iTunes, has called reporters to float the idea of pulling out of iTunes altogether."

Holy mealy-mouthed buzzwords (3, Insightful)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424309)

NBC is the controlling interest in Apple customer-friendly intellectual properties
How about "NBC owns the copyright to Apple-customer-friendly shows"?

People actually buy itunes shows? (0, Flamebait)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424325)

I am an ipod/iphone/macbook/apple whatever owner, and I am amazed that people would pay for tv shows through the itunes store, as as a previous poster mentioned, who wants to watch those little 4:3 videos on an ipod anyway or God forbid, on a TV with all the compression...

It's obvious, the old MS-NBC-Universal connection, try to hurt apple if you don't like the rules, take your ball home and see how much fun the game is...

I think that Apple will be just fine without Universal. I wonder how much digital content (if any) Universal will be selling in the next calendar year without Apple...

Addiction much? (1, Flamebait)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424345)

How sad is it to have a topic on Slashdot where the poor person can get their TV show fix and must get advice?

Seriously it's a TV show and that's it. It's a sad state to be in when missing a TV show causes such issues (I have seen it so much in real life, I missed this show or this sports event and people get VERY angry).

The bigger question is why are you so addicted to a show? Folks it's only a TV show

What's on NBC anyway? (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424355)

I just noticed that all the shows on my DVR (Rescue Me, The Riches, Burn Notice, Psych, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) are not major network shows. How come FX, USA and the like have better-written shows than the big networks? I can't remember the last time I watched a show on NBC.

very stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20424369)

I'm thinking some of the people who say we can just watch it over the air should pull their heads out of their asses. Not all of us live in the usa or a place where we can get that.

I guess I will be downloading the next series of heros on bittorrent and use the money I save to buy popcorn.

Other option (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20424387)

Hey NBC: I have chosen not to have cable, but want to pay you for Heroes. Guess what my only alternative will be if you pull it from iTunes?

Not watch it? Or did you mean, break the law?


If you want to break the law, go ahead. But don't pretend anyone's forcing you to, and accept the consequences of your actions. If you think the law is wrong, protest.

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