Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable
By Marguerite Reardon
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: April 12, 2006, 10:00 AM PDT
Full story at : http://news.com.com/Free+Net+TV+thre...tag=html.alertWalt Disney's bold move to let people download TV shows for free could spell trouble for cable and satellite providers, but it also throws into question the strategy of telephone companies spending billions to get into the paid TV business.
On Monday, Disney-owned ABC announced plans to put "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Alias" and "Commander-in-Chief" on the Internet for free as part of a two-month trial beginning in May. The Net-accessible episodes, which will be available the day after the shows air, will be archived so viewers can watch any shows they miss.
Viewers will access the shows on the ABC Web site where they'll be able fast-forward, pause and rewind entire episodes. Short commercials will be aired with the programs; viewers will not be able to fast-forward through them.
Disney's ABC has been at the forefront of experimenting with new ways to distribute content over the Internet. Last year, it struck a deal with Apple Computer to sell individual episodes of some of its popular shows via the iTunes Music Store for $1.99 per episode. The two other major networks, NBC and CBS, soon followed suit by offering programs of their own on iTunes.