NBC/Amazon: Small Deal, Won’t Scare Apple

Is there much to say about the latest episode of the NBC-Apple catfight, in which NBC announced it would start selling its TV shows via Amazon’s Unbox service? Not really — this is negotiation by press release. No one expects Amazon’s slow, clunky, non-iPod compatible download service to offer real competition to Apple’s iTunes. If NBC is going to win concessions from Steve Jobs it will have to try harder.

One gambit that might work — enlisting the help of News Corp., its partner in the Hulu joint venture. News Corp. sells shows like “24” and “Prison Break” via iTunes, but it too has been unhappy about pricing issues — which is why it has never agreed to sell its movies via Apple. Release.