NBC will offer episodes to download for free (sweetie)

In a move that shows that TV networks might actually, finally, understand the way the world works, this was reported in the New York Times:

NBC Universal, acknowledging that viewers are increasingly moving away from traditional television viewing, announced plans today for a service that will make popular NBC programs available to download free to personal computers and other devices.

Then again, it says that the files will expire after seven days which means there’s some kind of ridiculous DRM present.
What do you think? Will this be another horrible failure? Has anybody been following the iTunes store debacle?

NBC to Offer a Free Video Download Service (NYTimes)


  1. The files will only play Windows based PCs, they still don’t get it.

    NBC have ruled out DivX enabled DVD-Players, Macs and iPods, among others.

    I think the networks have got along way to go before Channel Bittorrent starts losing viewers.

  2. If I am to think of a workable business model then having a timed play time of a week I think is fair. Having said that… its not that hard to do an on the fly capture. So thats all good. NOW the important part. Does this mean that its a US only thing (Brett’s special fancy needed) or a world release (I assume the former). Still I see it as a step in the right direction, whether that makes it to the Neanderthal and recalcitrant networks we have in Australia is another thing altogether (we still don’t have TV delivered through iTunes)

  3. No Mac support. Forced to watch ads. Exploding, time limited media. No space-shifting support. DRM, DRM, DRM and more DRM.

    It will bomb.

    They’ll be back on iTunes in less than 6 months.

  4. Yep. Everything with DRM fails. Everything that locks the user into one format fails.

  5. “But, Mr. Gaspin said, ?piracy was and is our No. 1 priority.? He said that the music industry had been devastated by the free exchange of music, much of it facilitated by iTunes.”


    Shouldn’t their #1 priority be making and funding good shows? Or thinking of creative ways to make money from those shows?

    I can think of a million things more important to their business than piracy for NBC universal.

  6. I received notification the other day about NBC shows being available to download through Amazon – it would seem as the alternative to iTunes. I haven’t investigated it very much, as it’s US residents (not Canada) only – I don’t have a Special Fancy – but it didn’t seem very obvious where to download the free eps, only how to subscribe to the whole season (“only US$1.89 per episode!”).

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