Apple Refutes NBC Content Pricing Claims


The bickering continues after all: CNET News reports that Apple wasn’t exactly thrilled with NBC’s claims that the media conglomerate was able to change pricing policy at Apple.

The backstory: NBC Universal executives implied they agreed to start selling downloads of TV shows on iTunes only after being allowed more flexibility to set prices. “That’s just not correct,” Eddy Cue, the vice president in charge of Apple’s iTunes Store, said Wednesday evening in the article.

He said that while “most TV shows sell for $1.99 on iTunes,” retailers have always been allowed to sell videos for less, citing Viacom episodes of South Park and MTV’s The Hills as examples. “We’ve never told anyone they can’t lower prices,” Cue said, the subtext being that Apple didn’t want NBC to be able to raise prices.

That’s not what NBC says. “Frankly, ever since we dropped our relationship with Apple last fall, they have made a gradual progression culminating in [Tuesday’s announcement that NBC was returning to iTunes],” JB Perrette, who runs NBC’s digital unit, said in the report. “Originally, Apple had no film content [from the major motion picture studios] on the service because they were asking the film studios for years to accept a price that was below their DVD price.

“Apple realized it wasn’t worth the fight anymore,” Perrette said. “They were better off to just have the content. So they agreed to the pricing that was at least equal to the DVD pricing.”