Dear NBC

With the news yesterday that NBC wanted to experiment with raising prices on iTunes, and asked for a cut of Apple’s massive iPod revenue, I thought I would voice my thoughts over at NBC’s newly beta Hulu site. As Corey pointed out to me this morning, NBC’s “slice” of the iPod revenue is the network getting their shows on the portable player in the first place. They are not entitled to profits from the sales of the hardware itself. Despite what Bill and Ballmer have done. Here’s my comment over at Hulu’s blog:

“So $15 Million dollars wasn’t enough for you guys from iTunes last year huh? What was the amount you were making for your shows online before iTunes came along? Oh yeah, right. Zero. Your vision is shortsighted, greedy and anti-customer.

If I can’t view your shows on my iPod or iPhone, can only see the last 5 episodes of something, can’t watch them outside the US, have to watch ads and need flash, then I’d say this grand experiment is a massive failure. Too bad too because I like your content, but I’ll never buy another NBC/U DVD. Ever.”

I meant that last bit. Mindy and I bought the first season of Heroes on DVD because I had missed it first time around. Although it’s tempting to buy season 2 when it eventually comes out, until NBC comes back to iTunes, I won’t be forking over any more money to Zucker and company. If you feel the same way, I suggest you head on over to Hulu and let your thoughts be known. Judging from the comments already posted, we’re not alone.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, anyone wanna take a guess as to why the final season of NBC/Universal’s ‘Battlestar Galactica’ is being delayed until April instead of its planned January airing? Could it be that NBC/U wants Galactica to be their flagship show when Hulu leaves beta? Could be rabbit. Could be.


  1. I am totally with you on NBC/U’s greed and stupidity, but I think Galactica’s delay has much more to do with the impending writers’ strike than with Hulu.

    To me, that’s the biggest hypocrisy of all. Zucker and company get up there on their high horse and tell us how unfair it is that Apple won’t give them a cut of their iPod sales because iPods are sold “on the backs” of NBC/U content. Then, they turn around and tell the writers that they can take a long walk off a short pier when the writers *dare* to ask them for exactly the same thing — residuals from online ventures and other money-making schemes that the studios couldn’t pull off without *their* hard work.

  2. I was just over at the Hulu blog, and noticed with amusement that my comment, as well as many (if not almost all) of the negative comments that people had left about the Hulu service have been deleted. Pity — that means they’re probably just dismissing them all out of hand. And here I was actually naive enough to think that there was the possibility they might realize that perhaps, just perhaps, they weren’t going about the digital video thing the right way. Oh, well. If a huge corporation doesn’t want my money then there’s little I care to do about it.

  3. Surprisingly my comment is still listed there. I wonder how long that will last. It angers me that they would delete your comment Christopher, but it also isn’t surprising. Such is the behavior of many large corporate entities now-a-days. Disappointing.

  4. I do wonder what it was that I said that warranted deletion. Maybe they didn’t like my suggestion that if they wished to make more money off of iTunes the solution that makes me most sense is to sell episodes for less, not more. Or maybe they didn’t like it when I said that what they’re up to is another example of corporate stupidity and a lack of understanding of the market. I stand by what I said, however… and firmly do believe that many people who use bittorrent to get NBC shows would happily switch to a legal option if it were more reasonably priced (I certainly would, at any rate — though given I live in Canada there is no “legal” option anyway). Given their refusal to do so, they’re just encouraging more people to go the illegal route and helping to make sure that those who do torrent NBC shows won’t feel any pang of guilt over it.

  5. Just watched last night’s episode and I’ve gotta say it was compelling. Finally I think the arc is taking shape. So is Adam really centuries old?

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