I realize that MGM is de facto bankrupt and so it should go without saying that it's pulling every last dishonorable financial scam out to save its butt until it can find a bigger, richer company willing to buy its assets and run it through actual bankruptcy proceedings to clear away most of the debt.
Good, great, we already knew that and I guess they are entitled to do whatever they think is necessary to stay alive. But it doesn't excuse such petty behavior as this, nor does it exempt MGM from criticism for gouging fans of their shows. For the record I like Stargate Universe and I think it's a promising show, and while I strongly disagree with releasing only half a season on DVD -- largely because this is the result of the absolutely stupid idea of splitting a single season into two parts that air nearly half a year apart -- that's not but a fraction my problem with their conduct.
It's charging $27.99 for 11 episodes of television. Defend it all you want because you're a diehard fan of the show or because you're a person who believes that a business should be allowed to price gouge if it feels like it, but that's ridiculous and anyone that defends it looks equally as ridiculous.
A single episode of practically any TV show on iTunes costs $1.99. 22 episodes at that price means you can get what amounts to a DVD box set worth of content minus the extras (which most people don't seem to care about) for $43.78. But since MGM is charging $28 for half a season, that means when the full season box set comes out it'll probably cost north of $56 -- about 21% more than it ought to cost by iTunes standards.
But those numbers are inflated as well. The most recent full season of House (5th season and with extras galore) costs about $24 on Amazon.com, less than half a season of SGU or what it would cost to buy from Apple. You can get the first five seasons of House, a show about four times more popular, for $89, not even double what the first season of Stargate Universe will end up costing.
That's not an aberration, as it has been pointed out to me the first season of Star Trek (the original series) is going for a little over $70. That's not a valid example in defense of the price of SGU, it's another great example of pitiful price gouging.
There are plenty of shows that are more (and less) popular than SGU that cost less. $27.99 is a rip-off from a desperate company that's exploiting fans to make up for decades worth of poor decisions by executives making millions per year. Hell, it's not that much of a stretch to fault decisions just like this one for why MGM is going bankrupt in the first place.