Monday, April 10, 2006

ABC Will Post TV Shows Online For Free

In an interesting new twist, ABC will post its top TV shows online for free at They'll do it for two months starting during May sweeps, and include everything from Lost and Desperate Housewives to Alias and Commander in Chief. These are NOT downloads -- you won't be able to put them on your iPod. But you can watch the show and jump "chapters" -- but you won't be able to skip the ads. It's just another new wrinkle in making product available in any way possible to reach viewers. Doing it during May sweeps -- one of the biggest events of the year in TV -- is also gutsy, though continuing the experiment during the repeat-heavy days of June is meaningless. Presumably, they'll also be available as digital downloads at iTunes, though the news story doesn't say. In short, Lost will air on ABC. You can tape it on your VCR or DVR or other Tivo-like device and watch it again as many times as you want, when you want, for free. You can even skip over the ads. The next day, you can also spend $2 and buy it as an ad-free digital download and play it on your computer and iPod. You can also go to if you were stupid enough to miss the show AND fail to record it. There, you can watch the show on your computer but have to sit through the ads. If you're a Desperate Housewives fan, you can also watch it rerun on Lifetime that same week, also with ads (or tape the rerun and skip through them later). Did I miss anything?

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