NBCU to Sell TV Shows Through Amazon


Just days after NBC Universal nixed its distribution deal with Apple iTunes, the company announced a new pact with Amazon.com to sell television shows from NBCU broadcast and cable networks.

As part of the deal, Amazon Unbox (http://unbox.amazon.com) and NBCU will offer various content packages, including up to 30% off when customers purchase full seasons of their favorite TV series.

Content to be available on Amazon will include NBC’s The Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock, USA Network’s Monk, Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica, Bravo’s Top Chef and Telemundo’s El Cuerpo De Deseo.

In its failed negotiations with Apple’s iTunes, NBCU had reportedly sought more copy-protection controls as well as more flexibility in pricing. Apple fired back last week with a press release asserting that NBCU had asked for “more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode.”

Amazon Unbox, starting Sept. 10, will allow users to download for free the pilot episodes of NBC’s new shows – prior to their network premieres – including Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman and Life. New episodes will be available on Amazon Unbox the day after they air on TV.

Previously, NBCU had a film distribution deal with Amazon.com -- which has offered movies from Universal Pictures, Rogue Pictures and Focus Features since September 2006 -- but the deal announced Tuesday is the first for the duo covering TV shows.

Overall, Amazon Unbox provides more than 10,000 television shows, movies and other video content for rent or purchase.

“With the addition of NBC Universal TV content to Amazon Unbox, fans now have the ultimate convenience for enjoying their favorite shows whenever or wherever they want,” NBCU president of digital distribution Jean-Briac Perrette said, in a statement. “This further expands our longstanding relationship to bring a robust content offering to the marketplace in a variety of ways that will benefit the consumer and, at the same time, protects our content.”