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NBC Picks Amazon Over Apple

A downloading deal with Amazon's Unbox replaces a similar arrangement with Apple's iTunes.

SAN FRANCISCO --

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

is not irreplaceable.

Broadcasting giant NBC Universal, a unit of

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, said Tuesday that it has agreed to sell downloads of shows such as

Heroes

and

The Office

on

Amazon.com's

(AMZN) - Get Report

TheStreet Recommends

Unbox digital download service.

The deal replaces a similar arrangement with Apple's iTunes downloading service.

As a result of the agreement, Amazon's Unbox service will offer downloads of NBC's prime-time features the day after they air on TV, including new episodes from the season beginning September.

Some shows, including the new

Bionic Woman

, will be available for free before the television premier.

The agreement between NBC and Amazon follows

Apple's refusal to raise prices that it charges for downloads of NBC programs from $1.99 per download to $4.99. Apple will not offer downloads of new episodes from this season, but will carry existing shows through December.

Amazon will sell downloads of NBC's shows for $1.99, the same price at which they're available from iTunes. The online retailer already sells downloads of NBC Universal movies such as

Smokin' Aces

.

The addition of NBC Universal TV content to Unbox "further expands our longstanding relationship to bring a robust content offering to the marketplace in a variety of ways that will benefit the consumer and, at the same time, protects our content," Jean-Briac Perrette, president of NBC Universal Digital Distribution, said in a statement.

Amazon shares were recently trading up $1.43, more than 1.7%, to $84.13, amid a heavy selloff in the broader market averages.

Apple shares were also up midday, rising 68 cents to $144.84. Amazon was up 2.19% to $84.51.