John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

NBC U to Apple: I’ll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)

itunesbad1.jpgApparently, NBC Universal doesn’t know that jumping into rebound relationships after a particularly painful breakup is rarely a good idea. After Apple tossed its fall TV lineup off iTunes in August, saying the two companies couldn’t agree on pricing, the broadcast network has been spitefully seeking out distribution deals wherever it can find them: Hulu. Then Amazon Unbox. The hilariously ill-conceived NBC Direct. And Netflix.

Now SanDisk. Today, NBC U said it would make its shows available on SanDisk’s recently launched Fanfare PC-to-TV video player service. Come January, consumers will be able to download episodes of NBC series they can no longer purchase on iTunes, and transfer them to their TVs via SanDisk’s TakeTV product.

“Fanfare is going to be an iTunes-like store for us,” NBC U’s president of digital distribution, Jean-Briac Perrette, told Silicon Alley Insider. But with one noteworthy difference: NBC U controls pricing. “The business model is one we like,” said Perrette. “It’s normal for content owners to control the wholesale price of their content. This is no different than any other wholesale relationship; it’s not different in the sense that Wal-Mart decides to price DVDs at a loss. Ultimately we still set the wholesale price.”