CBS said it will not join the battle against Apple over pricing of television shows on the iTunes Store. However, after a
public battle with Apple over pricing, NBC has launched its own download service for customers.
CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves said that his company
would be staying out of the battle with Apple. “We like our relationship with iTunes,” he said.
Moonves said that iTunes wasn’t a significant source of revenue for CBS, but the company looked at it as much for promotion as it did for revenue.
NBC has decided to tackle Apple head on as it announced NBC Direct, a new service that allow users to download and view NBC’s popular primetime and late-night entertainment programming on their desktops for up to one week after broadcast. Programs available at launch in October will include “Heroes,” “The Office,” “Life,” “Bionic Woman,” “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Later beta versions will include a free subscription option that will automatically download show when they become available.
The initial version of NBC Direct will be for Windows-based PCs only, the company said. Mac and portable device compatibility will be added in the next several months, along with digital rights management protected versions of the shows.
As of May 2007, Apple has sold over 50 million television shows on iTunes.