NBC’s Cell Phone Show Rentals (Overpriced)

Dave Zatz —  March 16, 2007

NBC, via MobiTV, intends to offer cell phone television show rentals. Deployment is scheduled for Q2, though Forbes reports no wireless carriers have signed on. I’m obviously not the only one who thinks the model is flawed and the pricing is extreme:

For one thing, the shows seem expensive, going for a minimum of $1.99 per episode, which will buy users only a 24-hour viewing period. That’s the same as most shows go for on Apple, but iTunes downloaders own those programs — meaning they’re not limited to a 24-hour viewing window. With Apple’s iPhone due to hit the market soon, NBC’s plans to offer 24-hour rentals of its shows isn’t likely to lure many early adopters.

Even if I didn’t own a Slingbox (and didn’t work for Sling Media), I’d tell you this is ridiculous. How many times must one pay for the same content, and at such unfavorable rates? Thank goodness there are (granted, less mainstream) alternatives to move recorded shows to portables such as TiVoToGo, Windows MCE, etc. Hey Mari, what’s up with Moto’s Follow Me TV service? Anyone implemented the cell phone content portion yet?

5 responses to NBC’s Cell Phone Show Rentals (Overpriced)

  1. I can’t imagine this will take off. And that price is just for the small, tiny screen? It should be 50 cents per rental, or something in that range.

    Actually, why isn’t it free, and ad-supported?

    I’ve been reading a lot about the new “over the top” tv options that are coming out — Apple TV, Joost, etc. And, this seems pretty weak in comparison.

    – Robert

  2. That reminds me: I need to install this Joost client and see what it’s all about… Never enough time!

  3. I’ll take that Joost client off your hands Dave…

  4. Next time I get an invite ‘token’ I’ll pass it to you, Glenn. In the last round, I had only two to share. I assume they’ll be seeding more in the near future…

  5. No partner for the cell phone portion yet, but thanks for calling me out! :) More info here: