Someone's listening to Bill :)
They are listening Bill , now, can you just tell them to open it up to overseas as well?
Disney shows free on web
By Michele Gershberg And Kenneth Li11-04-2006
WALT Disney Co's ABC television network will offer some of its most popular shows, such as Desperate Housewives and Lost, for free on the web in a service supported by advertising, the company said today.US media companies have been experimenting with ways to deliver programs through new technologies while maintaining revenue as viewership for prime-time television schedules slowly erodes.
But ABC's venture, which starts as a two-month trial in May, goes a step further, potentially bypassing cable operators by bringing top shows straight to the consumer, analysts said.
"Going direct over a broadband (internet) connection is a very smart business and I think you'll see other broadcasters follow suit," said Rich Greenfield, analyst at Pali Research.
"This just continues to bolster our view that you should be investing in content and programming over pure distribution" like cable operators, he said.
ABC already sells digital downloads of its highest-rated TV shows for the popular iPod music and video player. Other networks have also tested digital and video-on-demand formats for airing shows soon after they first appear on broadcast TV.
Rival CBS Corp last month carried streaming video of the March Madness NCAA college basketball playoff games on a subscription-free, ad-supported basis, with much success.
"It's really an opportunity for us to learn about a different model," Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC television group, said at an annual cable industry convention in Atlanta today. "It's more importantly recognising that none of us can live in a world of just one business model."
Top ABC shows such as Commander in Chief and Alias, along with Lost and Desperate Housewives, will be available on the web at ABC.com in May and June, starting the day after they are first broadcast, the network said.
They will only be available to users with a US internet address to protect foreign broadcasting rights.
Viewers will be able to pause and move between "chapters" in an episode, but not skip ads that are technically embedded.
Advertising revenue will support the trial run on ABC.com, with 10 advertisers, including AT&T Inc, Ford Motor Co, Procter & Gamble Co and Universal Pictures, already signed up. Some will insert video ads into the content, while others will sponsor shows, with the idea of tailoring commercials to the internet experience.