NBC Uni feels Fanfare with SanDisk deal

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NBC Universal said Tuesday that it would make its shows available on SanDisk Corp.'s Fanfare platform, a service that allows users to download content from their PC and connect it to their TV.

As part of the deal, content from NBC, USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, Bravo and the NBC Uni library will be available for paid download on the service, which is still in beta, beginning next month. Users will be able to download the shows on Fanfare and then store the programs on the Sansa TakeTV video player, a hard drive that stores content and can be transferred to a TV for viewing.

SanDisk joins Amazon's Unbox, Netflix and Hulu as the latest online platform in which NBC Uni shows will be available as the network continues to look for Web distribution outside Apple's iTunes. Last week, all NBC Uni-owned content was pulled from Apple's store after negotiations between the two companies over pricing, bundling and copyright issues fell apart in a public pre-Labor Day spat.

With Tuesday's deal, SanDisk appears willing to embrace the issues that led to the falling-out between NBC Uni and Apple. The two companies said they would "explore the implantation of watermarking and filtering technology" and "will collaborate on new consumer content acquisition models," including discounts for multiple episode purchases and entire seasons and incentives to purchase a bundle of different TV seasons.

Fanfare, which requires the Sansa TakeTV device for use, was introduced in October and also has content distribution deals with CBS and its Showtime Networks, TV Guide and others.
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