Who really gets hurt by the NBC and Apple spat?

NBC and Apple are having a lovers spat right now. Since I'm an avid Apple fan and a new found NBC programming fan, I really feel like the child with two fighting parents.

Both Apple and NBC have had some things to say and like the bad parents they are, they chose to air this out where us kids could hear.

I've translated the communications below as I think they actually come across to me and I've also placed links to the articles themselves so that you can see how this dialog happened in real life. Since our show needs a good name, I'll call it "The Honeymooners"

The Honeymooners, episode 1

Scene: a middle-America home, the kids "Joey" and "Susie" are playing the new "mortgage collapse" game from Milton Bradley in the living room. Their Parents, Mr Jobs and Ms Zucker are in the bedroom in the middle of an argument.

The kids don't yet know that anything is wrong. We start with the camera in the bedroom:

NBC: "I bring in almost half the money that comes in this household, I'm the best thing you got. You are going to start doing things my way if you want any of this action any longer. And those brat kids of yours who think they can have anything they want on those damn iPods... You need to put a stop to that right now mister."

Apple: "You mean little Joey and Susie consumer? If I take away their iPod privileges, they'll run away from home. I'm not going to do that to them. Think about it. they are just now starting to like you again, don't you remember how they watched so much of 'The Office' that they begged you to make more. Give them a chance, they are good kids. This can work out."

NBC: "Listen, I already told you. You do it my way or I'm leaving when our lease is up."

Apple: "What are you doing, don't open the door, the kids will hear..."

The door swings open and NBC steps out into the hallway within earshot of the children. (NY Times.) The kids are startled by the noise, but don't pay much attention, they are focused on their game.

NBC: "I don't care if the children do hear me, you do not treat me that way!"

"Oh and one more thing... All those great shows that your kids like to watch, I'm cutting them off when I move out in December."

(Apple, who almost never says a word in front of the children, steps in and booms loud enough for everyone to hear)

Apple: "You started this... But I'm going to be the one to finish it."

You are so full of yourself. I just can't believe this. It's like I'm living in some zucker fantasy-land. Did you say that you make almost half the money around here... try 'almost a third'."

"First off, you greedy bitch, I've never been with another network that has asked for as much as you are right now. Do you really think that I'll let you take that much of the kids allowance just to watch TV? The tooth fairy only leaves them a quarter, and you want $4.99 for each show!? - What kind of bastard do you think I am?"

"Let's not wait until December... Pack your shit and get the hell out right now."

"Oh, and I'm keeping the kids."

"This didn't have to be this way you know"

NBC: (under bated breath): "Don't you make me look bad in front of the kids - you just sit there and take your medicine!"

(NBC through Bloomberg)

Apple: (Smiles and thinks, "You started it bitch")

NBC: "No you dit-nt!"

"I'm not asking for anything i don't deserve, the kids won't have to pay that much. But they have to behave and do exactly what I want them to or else. Do you even know what they are putting on those iPods? Pirated shows... You need to stop that crap right now. Nothing without DRM should play, period."

"For that matter, isn't it about time you started paying me a royalty for those iPods anyway!" "I am the prettiest girl in the room and that means that I should get what I want"

Apple: (thinking: "WTF? go sit on a Zune, you crazy bitch")

NBC: "Listen, I don't need you anyway. I'm hanging out with Amazon and my new friend Hulu.com where all the cool kids are going to go. We are just going to flip a switch and suddenly funnel all Youtube and iTunes visitors right through our front door. You are so screwed."

"Oh, and if you think I'm moving before December, you have another thing coming! We made a deal mister and you are not going to break it."

"What do you have to say to that!"

For now that is all we have to share in this episode. I'm sure that there will be more. I'm sure that episode 2 will hit sooner rather than later.

Now that the silliness is over, let me tell you how I really feel:

For the record, I stopped watching television until just this last season and only got back into it via iTunes and specifically with NBC series like Heroes and The Office - Both of which I would not have tried had I not been able to buy through iTunes.

There are lots of you (including the ass-hats at NBC) who think that I should be just as likely to watch these shows on NBC.com for free, but you aren't even close to being right. I made the choice to buy Heroes from iTunes after knowing that I could get it for free from NBC.com.

Let me repeat that... I chose to spend $43.00 for a show that I knew I could have gotten for FREE, on TV through the cable channels or could have easily
found on a bittorrent client.

Why would I do that?

Simply put, it was because I liked how easy the experience was at the iTunes store. "Push button, get content, Try new content, push button again." No crappy NBC browser design, no non-skippable commercials, No "small video" NBC branded interface.

Buying the shows from iTunes allowed me to get the video experience that I wanted - iPod download, iTV capable, watch full screen, no commercials on my computer. ITunes also allowed me to have it without breaking any laws, good news for a law abiding citizen.

And even though the prices that I paid could be considered prohibitive, the iTunes store is really as "about me" as any retail experience can be. In contrast, the NBC video experience, even if it is free, is really about a bunch of guys in suits sitting around saying "It's all about our content, we'll get those sheep to show up and do what we want!"

Oh well.

Looks like I'll start learning how to use Bit Torrent as suggested by iLounge.


1 comment:

  1. Adding a link to a particularly good comic.