NBC loses touch with reality

Every once in a while, you see a bit of news that makes you wonder what on earth executives smoke. This is one of those things.

Many of you probably heard of NBC’s little spat with Apple. The short version is that NBC pulled all of its shows from Apple (which were making both of them boatloads of cash), claiming that Apple’s restrictions were too tight. Apple then came out and informed the waiting public that NBC in fact wanted to charge $4.99 an episode, up from the standard $1.99 that it enforces across the board. NBC, of course, denied until its sales died.

Since then, there have been rumors of the two getting back together. NBC did one right and launched Hulu with Fox, which is an excellent service and which represents a vast step forward in traditional media’s representation in the internet world. My only complaint with it is that they no longer have the entire catalogs of shows that are currently running up for stream, which is an egregious error: this is the Internet, why limit content access and revenue?

Well, NBC’s chief digital officer George Kliavkoff has done it again. They want to return to iTunes, but they want to prevent anybody from putting their content on iPods.

I’ll say that again.

NBC will put their shows on iTunes, but they want Apple to prevent anyone from putting their content on iPods.


The point behind the iTunes Music Store is that the content can be brought with you, that it can be put in your iPod. Most people I know who download television shows from iTunes watch them on the go. Once again, NBC misses the ball. Badly.

Someday, perhaps, a new generation of executives will rise who will understand the Internet and technology and what it’s all become. For now, we get to live under the wisdom and guidance of George Kliavkoff.

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