NBC Universal, unable to come to an agreement with Apple on pricing, has decided not to renew its contract to sell digital downloads of television shows on iTunes. NBCU, the #1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, notified Apple of its decision last week. "We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase. We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers," said a statement from iTunes VP Eddy Cue.
The decision by NBCU highlights the escalating tension between Apple and media companies, which are unhappy that Apple will not give them more control over the pricing of songs and videos that are sold on iTunes, said the New York Times, which first reported the split between NBCU and iTunes. The action by NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker will not have an immediate impact on iTunes. The current two-year deal extends through December, so a vast video catalog – some 1,500 hours of NBC Universal’s news, sports and entertainment programming – will remain available on iTunes at least until then. Among the most popular NBC Universal shows available for sale on iTunes are "Battlestar Galactica," "The Office" and "Heroes."
TVBR/RBR observation: The real reason is these shows will soon be available on NBCU-News Corp.’s upcoming Hulu.com, a video portal set to compete with YouTube. They own the content, why share in the revenues?