As a a part of a deal to bring HBO shows to the iTunes store, Apple will allow a content producer to break its $1.99-per-show price structure for the first time, HBO employees involved in the deal told Portfolio. Last summer, Apple CEO Steve Jobs refused to allow NBC to do the same, so NBC boss Jeff Zucker took his shows elsewhere — to Microsoft and the Zune, specifically. Why did HBO get the deal while NBC didn't?
Scarcity. Viewers can access NBC for free from their TVs, NBC.com, Hulu.com, and, oddly enough, from their iPhones. Other than an ongoing trial in Wisconsin, HBO shows aren't available on the Web and viewers even have to pay to see them on their televisions. And isn't the difference between NBC's Crime Scene and HBO's The Wire worth paying extra for?