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Tuesday, December 06, 2005, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple & NBC deal expands iTunes video service

NBC Universal and Apple today announced a lineup of new primetime, cable, late-night and classic TV shows, including primetime hits such as "Law & Order" and late-night favorites such as sketches from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on the iTunes Music Store.

Apple also announced that customers have purchased and downloaded more than three million videos since their debut on October 12, making the iTunes Music Store the world's most popular video download store.

With the additions today, iTunes now offers more than 300 episodes of 16 popular TV shows. NBC Universal programming now available on the iTunes Music Store spans from the 1950s to the present, including NBC's "Law & Order," "The Office," "Surface," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the USA Network's Emmy Award-winning "Monk" and Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" as well as classic TV shows including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Dragnet," "Adam-12" and "Knight Rider," on the iTunes Music Store beginning today.

Customers can purchase and download their favorite shows, including current shows the day after they air on TV, and watch them on their computer or iPod. The NBC Universal programs will be available in newly designated areas of the iTunes Music Store featuring the NBC Universal brands, including the NBC network, Sci-Fi Channel and the USA Network, Apple said.

"We're thrilled to expand the iTunes video catalog with 11 popular TV shows from NBC, USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "In our first two months we've sold more than three million videos, and have expanded our TV catalog from five shows to 16 shows."

"We are committed to helping viewers enjoy the wide breadth of our programs across an equally wide range of devices and distribution models," said Bob Wright, vice chairman of GE and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal. "Apple has developed a distribution platform that is attractive to consumers while at the same time providing the safeguards against theft that are so important to us and to every content provider. We are pleased to partner with them in this new venture."

Television shows are available in the US only, and video availability varies by country. Television shows are $1.99 per episode, and music videos and short films are $1.99 each.