NBC Universal has issued a statement responding to Apple’s announcement that it will not be offering the network’s fall lineup of programming, due to NBC’s non-renewal of its iTunes contract. In its statement, Apple claimed that contract talks broke down between the two companies due to NBC’s demand to raise wholesale pricing of shows in a manner that would more than double the current price of $1.99 per episode. Cory Shields, executive vice president of communications for NBC Universal, disputed these claims in a prepared statement.
“We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows,” said Shields. “In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers.” He added, “It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices, at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying.” Shields went on to say that NBC also asked Apple to take “concrete steps” to prevent piracy, “since it is estimated that the typical iPod contains a significant amount of illegally downloaded material.” Apple has yet to respond to the statement.