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NBC and Warner Bros. say no to iTunes rentals at 99 cents...morons.

NBC and Warner Bros. both declined Apple’s $.99 rental price plan for viewing TV shows, according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Warner Bros., the studio that shares responsibility for the distribution of the spy show, Chuck, is making a huge mistake here. NBC has Chuck competing with House and How I Met Your Mother on the Monday night schedule. It is a great show, but totally in a wrong time slot. Warner Brothers doesn’t seem to understand that they need to allow their audience to view their content, in every way they can, and stop making it difficult for people to watch, because much of that audience is also a huge fan of House, and they are certainly not going to skip it, in favor of the new Chuck episodes. You need to allow that audience to give you money in ways that don’t include watching the broadcast version.

Speaking of which, broadcast television blows. Too many pop up ads, and other crap makes just about any show nearly unwatchable over the transmission waves. Shows like Chuck, Lost, Leverage, Lie to Me, etc., only work really well when networks stop obscuring the bottom third of the frame with nonsense that covers up valuable, and fun story development. If I had my way, I’d get all of my television from iTunes or Netflix, simply because I can avoid all of the disrespectful crap that the networks invade the shows with.

But I digress back to Warner Bros. Not only are they in disagreement about TV rentals with Apple, but they haven’t even bothered to make Chuck episodes from the 4th season available for purchase from the iTunes store. With the fourth season only green lit for 13 episodes and the back nine dependent on ratings, NBC is practically guaranteeing that it will not have to okay the production of the final 9 episodes. It almost seems as if NBC and Warner Bros. are actively working together to kill the show, rather than help it be successful! I’m also curious where they think the rental price should be? You can no longer purchase shows in just standard definition for $1.99 anymore. Do they want that as the new rental price for HD versions? I think that is a bit high, particularly in a recession such as this one.

I could watch them on the Hulu website, but I don’t always want to sit in front of my computer while watching a TV show. I checked Hulu+, the iOS App that works on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch, and discovered that Chuck is not available there, so I cannot simply enjoy them from the comfort of my couch or bed, while watching them on my device. And with the recession, I am so damn busy I cannot afford Tivo, nor can I free up my schedule to watch all the shows I’d like when they are originally broadcast. 

NBC needs to stop $%&*ing with the users of Apple products and get with the program. It is probably behavior like this that is keeping them perpetually last in the ratings. I applaud them for continuing to make original content instead of going entirely to reality show crap-a-vision, but they don’t seem to know what to do with hit(cult) shows when they have them.

This means that this fall it looks like we have to watch shows from ABC and Fox, if we want to rent instead of purchase. Definitely sucks balls.




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