As That's What She Said reported on back in August , NBC Universal  and Apple were not able to reach a renewal deal for the TV shows  available in the iTunes Store. The previous agreement ended on  December 1st, and sooner than you can say "try my googi googi" Apple  has pulled the NBC shows from the store and associated websites. Thus  apparently ends this sad chapter of internet commerce.

It's an especially bitter pill for The Office fans to swallow, since  many attributed the show's availability in the iTunes Store as once of the key factors in it's rise from cult curiosity to demographic ratings hit for NBC.  In addition, The Office was frequently featured during CEO Steve Jobs' product keynotes for Apple Inc. As noted several months ago, Apple refused to provide pricing flexibility to NBC since they claimed that it would result in higher prices for some shows.

The Office will continue to be available on the NBC.com website (well, when new shows start to air once the Writers Strike ends…). The Hulu.com service from NBC and Fox continues in private beta, leaving many Office fans desperate for Hulu’s by-invitation-only pass codes. Of course, Hulu.com won't help everyone desperate for online TV shows. It requires Internet Explorer, the NBC Direct Player, and the latest .Net framework (all Windows only)

Hulu does have some nice web-only features though. You can watch episodes online and even embed clips or entire episodes to your blog (complete with ads, however). As an example, check one of the highlights of Season Four.



Amazon’s Unbox service is another outlet selling The Office episodes for as little as $1.89 with subscription. While Unbox has similar  Windows-centric system requirements as Hulu, there are some more  liberal use rights, including transfer to TiVo devices and some portable video players.

With Christmas coming in about three weeks, it’s sad that many future  iPod or iTunes Gift Card owners will be unable to catch up on  episodes of The Office. And in this writers opinion, it’s unlikely they’ll discover the show on those other services. Instead, they might just check out what the talk is all about on that other buzz-worthy Thursday show: “I hear that Ugly Betty is pretty good, let’s check it out.?

-Kevin Crossman
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23pm EST
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That's What She Said is a weekly podcast dedicated to NBC's Emmy Award winning show The Office. Every episode of TWSS includes TV episode clips and commentary, news, reports on upcoming media appearances of the cast, a selection of podsafe music, and much more. If you have a news item, piece of gossip, comment, constructive compliment, or are interested in promotional cooperation, please contact us:

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