By David B. Wilkerson
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The ABC Television Network's online streaming test of such shows as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" attracted a young, highly educated audience that had no problem with watching commercials in exchange for being able to see the episodes free, ABC said Thursday.
ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co., made episodes of "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "Commander In Chief" and an entire season of "Alias" available at its ABC.com Web site for free during May and June.
The shows could be viewed the morning after they aired on ABC stations. They could be rewound, fast-forwarded and paused, but included commercials that could not be skipped.
Based on a survey conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, ABC found that the average age of the online viewers was 29, and more than half were college graduates. The gender breakdown was 53% females, 47% males.
The main reason viewers gave for watching a given episode online was that they had missed it on TV.