** NBC to Offer Downloads of Its Shows**
NBC Universal said yesterday that it would soon permit consumers to download many of NBC’s most popular programs free to personal computers and other devices for one week immediately after their broadcasts.
The service, which is set to start in November after a test period in October, comes less than three weeks after NBC Universal said it was pulling its programs out of the highly successful iTunes service of [Apple Inc.]("http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/apple_computer_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org") That partnership fell apart because of a dispute over [Apple]("http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/apple_computer_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org")’s iTunes pricing policies and what NBC executives said were concerns about lack of piracy protection.
Well, well. First the NY Times did away with its “Times Select” fee for access to the whole paper.
Then NBC, after dumping iTunes and trying to jack up their prices by going with Amazon winds up offering them for free. ABC already offers its shows online, I don’t know about other networks.
I can’t help wonder how it’s all going to come out. Maybe eventually you’ll be able to download shows at your convenience but cookies on your computer will tell them what commercials to throw at you.
I do notice that folks (myself included) expect anything on the web to be* free*. I don’t know why but if I click on a link and it says “This article is available for $0.99” my blood pressure spikes. How dare they!