September 20, 2007 / 3:31 AM / 11 years ago

A weeklong Web afterlife for NBC shows

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC will make episodes of its programs available for download on its Web site for one week after their original broadcast, the network said Wednesday.

Cast member Masi Oka poses at the wrap party for season one of his NBC television series "Heroes" in Hollywood California April 17, 2007. NBC will make episodes of its programs available for download on its Web site for one week after their original broadcast, the network said Wednesday. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The move follows NBC’s recent decision not to renew its contract with Apple Inc., when it expires in December, because of a dispute over pricing and bundling on the electronics firm’s iTunes platform.

The new initiative, dubbed NBC Direct, will start in beta in October and will make episodes available for download from NBC.com (NBC.com) on Windows-based PCs. Once downloaded, the content will be encrypted so that it can't be viewed more than a week after the first network airing.

A mix of veteran and new shows will be available at launch: “Heroes,” “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” “Life” and “Bionic Woman.”

NBC said it would expand the initiative in the next several months to include DRM-protected episodes compatible with Macs and portable devices and a peer-to-peer distribution network. The network said that, it would provide further business models in 2008, including download-to-own, rental and subscription.

NBC fall content also will be available for purchase through Amazon.com’s Unbox and streaming at NBC.com.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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