Probably any fan in the U.S. who downloads Stargate Atlantis off of iTunes has read of the growing kerfluffle between NBC Universal and Apple, which has resulted in the the contract for downloads of NBC shows ending in December of 2007.
Today's Wall Street Journal (9/1) stated that both sides are hoping to resolve the problem before the contract expires in December. While iTunes has a billion music downloads, TV shows are no more than 50 million, of which NBC accounts for a tiny share, but, 3 of its best-selling TV shows last season were from NBC, which accounted for 30% of iTunes TV-shows sales.
What it all boils down to is the pricing. Folks in the business aren't happy with Apples's control, which forces folks to buy Apple products to watch other material.
Meanwhile.... the WSJ stated that "NBC is months way from launching Hulu.com, it's own online video site, a joint venture with NewsCorp. The site will distribute all the networks' TV shows, with ads embedded in the videos, free to users through major online portals including AOL, Yahoo and MSN."
We still don't know what this means overall to Stargate downloads, but I can't blame NBC for not wanting to force its viewers to all buy iPods.
Anyway, the following news article goes rather indepth into Hulu.com
Here's an interesting tibit on who owns what:
NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric
NBC currently operates about 50 Web sites, spread across its numerous TV and cable channel assets. They include NBC.com, MSNBC, and sites for its Bravo, Sci-Fi, USA and Sundance channels.
In March 2006, NBC paid $600 million to acquire iVillage.com, a popular Web site for women.I must admit I *rarely* watch an episode of anything on the PC. I like to lie back on the couch and watch it on a bigger screen TV (well, it was big when I bought it, cough cough). It will be interesting to see where this all leads.