MediaBytes 09.07.2007

APPLE wants to slash the price of TV show downloads in half, according to a new report in Variety. The company has been presenting studios with the idea of selling shows for $0.99 per episode, telling them that increased volume will make up for the price drop. However, the studios are concerned that such low-priced downloads will eat into DVD sales. The price-cutting initiative could help explain NBC’s decision not to renew its iTunes contract.

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT has come out against Net Neutrality, telling the FCC that Internet service providers should be able to charge more for “priority traffic.” In a filing submitted to the FCC, the Department said Net Neutrality could slow network investment and improvement. It argued that companies should be able to provide different levels of service, just like that other bastion of cutting edge technology and consumer satisfaction: The United States Post Office.

MTV NETWORKS will put the entire Daily Show library online, and post new episodes within hours of broadcast. will launch in the fourth quarter, as part of a long list of new sites dedicated to individual shows. The new, decentralized treatment will also be extended to The Sarah Silverman Program, MTV’s Engaged and Underage, and Nickelodeon’s iCarly. Comedy Central recently launched, a show-based hub dedicated to the popular, irreverent cartoon.

THE NCTA is offering to carry “must carry” local stations in both analog and digital format for three years following the shutdown of analog TV. The proposal is supported as an alternative to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to impose perpetual must carry on cable operators, until they convert to all-digital. The proposal includes an exemption for “bandwidth-constrained operators” that could not bear the burden of carrying both analog and digital signals for numerous local stations.

APPLE will offer iPhone buyers a $100 store credit, to ease the outcry from enraged early-adopters who saw the price of the iPhones slashed by $200. Steve Jobs published an open letter to customers apologizing for the price shenanigans.

THE NCTA has kicked off a television advertising campaign, to inform consumers that cable TV will not be affected by the February 2009 transition to digital-television. The trade group will spend $200 million over the next 18 months, starting with four 30-second ads set to run on cable and broadcast networks. The ads focus on telling viewers that cable will “work just fine” after the transition. They have begun running on select cable systems, and will hit broadcast networks this weekend.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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