NBC Universal on UK iTunes store

7 05 2008

Well this hasn’t been reported much, amid the launch on Zune Marketplace of NBC Universal content. Although NBC Universal are in (a much publicised) dispute with Apple over TV content on the US iTunes store, they slyly added Heroes and House to the UK store, under the moniker “Universal”. Can a return to the US store be too far behind?

BBC on iTunes

19 02 2008

Just a quick note to say that BBC shows started appearing on iTunes this evening, ahead of an expected announcement on Tuesday morning. Spooks, Life on Mars and The Mighty Boosh are among the better offerings, with someone also having the gall to put Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps on there, under the baner of “The Best of British TV”. I’ll let all you UK readers know what this means for your licence fee once I have had the chance to think of something subtly witty. Oooh… no it’s gone again.

NBC pull out of the itunes store

31 08 2007

Now that is a shame. I know I said this last year, but with the advent of high-def downloads almost upon us, this was going to be the season that I bought an Apple TV, paid Steve Jobs for a season pass and watched season 2 of Heroes and season 4 of The Office legitimately.

NBC accounted for 40% of the TV sales on the itunes store. Now, without knowing the details, they have turned thousands back to bittorrent, and lost a tiny portion of revenue themselves. According to reports, they wanted higher prices for new shows and lower prices for old ones, as well as a tighter DRM restrictions. Wow, thats a lot of demanding from a failing network. Oh well. Hopefully NBC Universal’s joint venture with Fox, Hulu, will get them where they want to be in the online video world. Or not.

On a related note, NBC’s hottest property of the moment, Heroes, has sent the cast and crew on a world tour. For video of Last nights London press conference at the Gherkin, click here.

¬†UPDATE:- Apple have released statement, saying they will withdraw NBC shows from the itunes store before the new season starts next month. They note that NBC were trying to get them to raise the wholesale price for each show, meaning Apple would have had to charge $4.99 per episode next season. Are NBC crazy??? Are they now going to take down every bittorrent tracker on the internet? Because that is the only way they will regain any revenue from this debacle. Why can’t Apple and companies called Universal get along?

At last…

29 08 2007

I just found out that Apple have started selling TV “Programmes” via iTunes on the UK store. Disney and Viacom seem to be the only providers at this time. It remains to be seen how often these shows are updated.

Youtube on Apple TV

31 05 2007

Didn’t I write about this a few months ago? Or at least, something very similar. Yesterday Steve Jobs announced new functionality for his floundering Apple TV product. With a firmware update due in mid-June, Apple TV users will be able to watch Youtube videos from the comfort of their sofa. “But I can already do that with my Wii, and it’s pixelated crap”, I hear you cry. Well Apple are in the process of transcoding all videos on Youtube into H.264, their codec of choice. And if it appears in a window like the interface above, that shouldn’t look too bad at all. Apple also announced a HDD upgrade, with a 160gb Apple TV available to order in readiness for all the HD episodes they could/should be offering by the start of the new season. No sign of it on the UK apple store though.

And if you have read about all of this already (and lets face it you probably have), you will be happy to know that TV episodes on the UK itunes store are a mere “weeks” away. I can’t reveal my sources but from the looks of things there will be quite a selection.

45% of Europeans watch TV online?

3 05 2007

Techcrunch have posted the results of a survey conducted by Motorola in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom that says that 45% of Europeans now watch TV online. Although I knew it was happening, I had no idea it was to this extent. Because I work in the industry, I am surrounded by people who watch TV on their PC/Macs, and in the last year or two I have noticed more and more of my friends and colleagues bingeing on TV, especially serialised drama, at the weekends in bed on their laptops.

One thing this survey doesn’t make clear however, as Techcrunch rightly points out, is *how* these Eurocrats are consuming this TV. Do they mean Bittorrent downloads of TV shows, or legal streaming? Or maybe even 2 minute news bulletins? And what were Motorola trying to prove with this survey anyway? That european consumers want to watch TV on their mobiles, on the move? Because I am not sure they do.

European iTunes news

28 04 2007


Two little things about TV shows and movies on the iTunes store in the UK. Firstly, the company that own the company I work for (huge conglomerate that some people like, a lot of people hate) have been asked to make TV shows ready for the UK store. I know how vague that sounds, but it’s better than nothing right?

And secondably (!), Apple’s vice-President for Europe, Pascal Cagni, has confirmed that movies will be available on European iTunes stores by the end of the year. I originally wrote that it would happen by the Spring, but… what are you gonna do? There is a month of spring left anyway. Or “Printemps”, to Mr Cagni.