Apple will stop selling NBC Universal television shows through the iTunes Store. Apple said it's doing so because NBC wanted Apple to "pay more than double the wholesale price" for each NBC TV episode, which would have upped user costs to US$4.99 per episode, up from $1.99 presently.
Apple's statement confirms an earlier report posted by the New York Times. Apple's timetable for removing NBC Universal content from the iTunes Store is considerably sooner than what the Times speculated, however. Apple said it plans to drop NBC shows in September.
"Since NBC would withdraw their shows in the middle of the television season, Apple has decided to not offer NBC TV shows for the upcoming television season beginning in September," reads a statement published by Apple. "NBC supplied iTunes with three of its 10 best selling TV shows last season, accounting for 30 percent of iTunes TV show sales."
Apple will continue to sell television shows from ABC, CBS, Fox and the CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, continuing the current price of $1.99 per episode.
NBC Universal shows aren't just those broadcast on the NBC television network. Battlestar Galactica, the popular remake of the 1970s science fiction show broadcast on cable channel the SciFi Network will also be impacted by this decision, for example.
"We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase. We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes.