NBC exits iTunes, enters Hulu

The relationship between NBC and Apple is ending ingloriously. When the network said it wouldn't renew its iTunes contract, Apple responded by nixing the current NBC inventory.

The news emerged last week when NBC Universal decided to let its existing iTunes agreement expire in December. Apple came back the next day with the news that it wouldn't sell episodes of shows coming out this fall. The Los Angeles Times reports a pricing spat between the two. Apple said NBC wanted an increase that would raise the $1.99 retail episodic price by $3 to $4.99. NBC also is reported to have issues with Apple's capacity to protect content from piracy.

The falling out comes as NBC prepares to launch its joint-venture video site with News Corp., officially unveiled last week to the punishment of bloggers as "Hulu." The project formerly known as NewCo--originally scheduled for a launch by summer's end--is now expected to go beta in October.

At Hulu.com, CEO Jason Kilar explains the rationale for the name… "Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we're building." He left out "bankable," given that NBC's videos were some of the most popular video content on iTunes.

For More:
- Coverage from the Los Angeles Times is here
Online Media Daily makes hay of Hulu here 

Related Article
NBC takes twisted patch toward YouTubeville Report