NBC Uni thinks inside Unbox for fall shows

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With its new content no longer appearing on Apple's iTunes, NBC Universal said Tuesday that it will sell its fall content online via Amazon's Unbox.

The deal includes such returning NBC series as "The Office," "Heroes" and "30 Rock" and new shows including "Bionic Woman" and "Chuck."

As part of the deal, NBC Uni will offer packaged content at discounts to consumers, a major point of contention with Apple, the network said. Beginning Monday, Amazon will offer free downloads of the pilot episodes of "Bionic," "Chuck," "Journeyman" and "Life."

Citing a desire to bundle content and obtain stronger piracy controls, NBC Uni decided Friday to not renew its contract with iTunes (HR 9/3). Apple said the media company wanted to charge double the wholesale price for its shows — which NBC Uni denied — and then said that it no longer would sell new NBC content on the platform.

Aside from these offerings, the series will be available on Unbox the day after they air on NBC. Episodes cost $1.99 on Amazon, the same as iTunes.

Apple's contract with NBC Uni runs out in early December, but the company said no new content from the fall will be added to iTunes. NBC, though, said Friday that new episodes of returning series still will be available.

Also Tuesday, NBC Uni announced a deal with Blockbuster Inc. to offer a free rental DVD with the first episodes of "Chuck," "Journeyman" and "Life" along with a two-minute preview of "Bionic." The DVD will be available at Blockbuster stores starting Oct. 21.
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