While some reports seem to point to NBC returning to iTunes, that seems unlikely, as the Zune Marketplace, along with the changes to the Zune 2.5 software, has added NBC to the fold.
Notable in the deal is NBC
Universal's inclusion, as the company's programs disappeared from Apple's
iTunes Store in December following disputes over pricing and bundling. "Partnering
with Zune will allow us to develop innovative content offerings for their
customers, including flexible pricing and packaging options beginning this
fall," said JB Perrette, president of NBC Universal Digital Distribution.
NBC Universal will offer NBC's "The Office," "Heroes" and
"30 Rock." Also on offer will be programming from Viacom's MTV, VHI,
Comedy Central and Nickelodeon networks; Liberty's
Starz/Manga Entertainment; Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting; FUNimation; and
Ultimate Fighting Championship.
No word on movie rentals or purchases at this time, but it would seem likely that Microsoft will try to close any service gaps between itself and iTunes in the future.