The Office Gets Shredded? Scrubs Scrubbed? NBC Will Not Renew ITunes Contract
NBC Universal has notified Apple that it will not renew its iTunes contract which represents 40% of all digital videos downloaded from iTunes, including the very popular and much-downloaded series 'The Office,' (which Apple regularly uses screen shots of in its advertising), 'Scrubs,' and 'Saturday Night Live.'
NBC Universal and Apple have been in contentious negotiations as of late, mostly over, you guessed it, money. NBC Universal, of course, wants more. This follows Universal Music Group (part of Vivendi, the world's largest corporation) recently announcing that they would not renew their contract to sell music through iTunes.
Videos of NBC shows will be available on iTunes through December, when the original contract expires. As to the Universal music, they announced that they would sell to Apple 'at will,' meaning they can cancel their partnership at a moments notice.
Whether this all is actually carried out remains to be seen. In several ways, Apple does not make much money off the actual digital products sold on iTunes--between 70 and 80 percent go directly to the labels and studios. So in effect, NBC and Universal have decided to bite the hand that feeds. But Uncle Steve is very well known for not taking things sitting down. If an agreement is not able to be reached before December, expect all sorts of fireworks.