NBC Ups Apple Ante, Pulls Shows Off iTunes

True to its word, NBC U pulled all its content off Apple’s iTunes over the weekend after its contract expired at the end of November. That means no more $1.99 episodes of The Office, or any other show from NBC, NBC News, CNBC, Bravo, Sci Fi, Sleuth, etc. (Check the Hulu beta, if you can get an invite, for those.)

This isn’t a shock: Well into October, NBC U CEO Jeff Zucker was still grousing about Steve Jobs’ intransigence: “We wanted to take one show, it didn’t matter which one it was, and experiment and sell it for $2.99,” Zucker said, at a Newhouse School Breakfast on Oct. 29. “We made that offer for months and they said no.” Apple’s counterclaim was that NBC U wanted to jack pricing up to $4.99 an episode.

As we’ve pointed out a couple times, iTunes downloads were a non-business for NBC U. And NBC U, like most of Hollywood, seems more interested in streaming ad-supported video than in selling ad-free video. Meanwhile it’s hard to imagine Apple (AAPL) will sell fewer iPods or iPhones because it can no longer sell episodes of 30 Rock. We still think these two will figure out a way to kiss and make up, but this standoff may go on for a while.

Related: NBC: iTunes Video Was A Non-Business

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