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Almost Live from Your iPod: It's SNL! - Broadcasting & Cable

Almost Live from Your iPod: It's SNL!

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Apple is adding "classic" Saturday Night Live sketches to its iTunes video iPod lineup, the company said at the Macworld conference in San Francisco Tuesday.

The computer company has been ramping up its video offerings, including a high-profile deal with ABC for such series as Desperate Housewives and Lost, as well as ESPN sports content, followed by a deal with SNL producer NBC Universal for a number of series, which will now include SNL excerpts.

Those skits will feature boomer touchstones such as Samurai Deli, The Coneheads and Blues Brothers skits.

Apple said Tuesday the current top video download from the site is ABC/ESPN Rose Bowl highlights.

NBC U Chairman Bob Wright told B&C in an interview in October that the iPod's security system was what made it an attractive venue for content. He has been one of the leading voices for protecting TV content in the digital space, arguing that, without that protection, content providers won't be eager to provide the programming.

Apple chief Steve Jobs began his Macworld Expo keynote address Tuesday by releasing some hefty revenue figures for Apple's 2005 fourth quarter: a record $1.5 billion in overall sales.

In downloadable television, Apple has sold more than 8 million videos since it launched the service in mid October. Just last week, Apple added ABC Sports segments from ABC and ESPN.

The company also announced a new accessory: a $49 iPod remote controller with an FM radio tuner built in.

That could come in handy in the 40% of new U.S. autos that will offer iPod docks as an option by the end of 2006.

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