Download deal replaces iTunes

No iTunes? No problem, says NBC Universal.

Peacock has signed a deal with SanDisk Corp. to make its programming available for download via SanDisk’s recently launched Fanfare service. Fanfare lets users download video content to their PCs and then play it back on their TV sets using SanDisk’s TakeTV video player.

Apple has a similar device called Apple TV, which hasn’t yet caught on with consumers. Earlier this year NBC U pulled its shows from Apple’s iTunes store, citing Apple’s unwillingness to offer more flexible pricing.

Fanfare offers both free, ad-supported downloads as well as paid downloads — exactly the kind of digital distribution options that are at the heart of the ongoing fight between the striking Writers Guild of America and major studios.

As part of the deal with NBC U, SanDisk will begin experimenting with digital watermarking downloads in order to curb potential piracy.

NBC U content will appear on Fanfare starting next month. In addition to primetime shows such as “The Office,” “Heroes” and “Monk,” content from NBC News and sports will also be available for download.

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