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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul



Thursday, September 20, 2007

NBC to Offer Downloads of Its Shows

The New York Times:
NBC Universal said yesterday that it would soon permit consumers to download many of NBC’s most popular programs free to personal computers and other devices for one week immediately after their broadcasts.

The service, which is set to start in November after a test period in October, comes less than three weeks after NBC Universal said it was pulling its programs out of the highly successful iTunes service of Apple Inc. That partnership fell apart because of a dispute over Apple’s iTunes pricing policies and what NBC executives said were concerns about lack of piracy protection.

The files, which would be downloaded overnight to home computers, would contain commercials that viewers would not be able to skip through. And the file would not be transferable to a disk or to another computer.

In a second phase of the NBC rollout, customers would pay a fee for downloads of episodes that they would then own, and the files would be transferable to other devices. NBC hopes to offer this service by mid-2008, depending on how quickly the company can put in place the secure software necessary to allow payment by credit card.

The latter system is what is already available through iTunes.
This whole thing is stupid, which is pretty much all I have to say on this.

Moving on, I just have to comment on a semi-related topic. We subscribe to the print version of The New York Times, and it's one of two newspapers I read each day. (The other is the increasingly uninteresting Boston Globe.) For some reason I can't honestly fathom, the NBC story noted here was on the front page of the newspaper today, and not just on the front page, but on the top of the front page. Meanwhile, a story about Dan Rather suing CBS News for violating his contract and prematurely ending his career there is relegated to Business section of the paper, despite allegations of evidence that might exonerate him in part regarding his role in a report about US president Bush's National Guard service. This was a major national news story. NBC posting Web downloads of its TV shows, obviously, is not. What the frick is up with The New York Times?

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