NBC to sell television shows on Amazon

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Amid increasing tense negotiations between Apple and NBC Universal over iTunes content, the entertainment company plans to sell episodes of its new fall TV shows on Amazon's Unbox service.

The deal between the NBC and Amazon brings a variety of content packages to consumers, including up to 30 percent off when purchasing full seasons of TV shows. Flexibility in pricing was one of the contested negotiating points between NBC and Apple.

TV shows now available on Unbox include The Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock. Beginning on September 10, Unbox customers can download the pilot episodes of NBC’s new shows Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman and Life, for free. The pilots can be downloaded in advance of their network premieres — new episodes will be available on Unbox the day after they air on TV.

News of the contract dispute between the companies first came to light late last week when NBC said it would not renew its contract to offer content through iTunes.

Apple escalated the battle by announcing later that same day that it would stop selling NBC shows through iTunes. Apple said NBC wanted them to “pay more than double the wholesale price” for each TV episode, which would have upped user costs to $4.99 per episode from the current price of $1.99.

NBC said that its TV shows would be available through December when the current contract with Apple expires.

While the public negotiations continue with Apple, NBC is shoring up alternatives by offering shows through UnBox and Hulu.com, a joint venture company with News Corp.

The move to other services is not without risk for NBC. Unlike the cross-platform iTunes, Unbox only works on Windows-based PCs and not the Mac or the iPod.

This story, "NBC to sell television shows on Amazon" was originally published by PCWorld.

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