Will all due apologies to the Fresh Prince, networks executives just don’t understand. Or, rather, NBC executive just don’t understand. This past week, we learned that negotiations between Apple and NBC broke down because NBC wants to charge $5.00 an episode for television shows sold via iTunes while Apple, understandably, wants to charge less.
Rather than lure consumers in with a partial-season offering of NBC programming, Apple will not sell any NBC shows this fall (the deal was set to end in December anyway). First, a little bit of math. Assuming a 24-episode season, regular viewers will be paying approximately $50 for the season at $1.99; NBC wants those viewers to pay in the neighborhood of $120 for that same programming. You know, that’s a lot of money, especially considering that the cost of production is largely subsidized by commercial advertisers during the first broadcast run.
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