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Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable - - 4/12/06


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  • Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable - - 4/12/06

    Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable

    By Marguerite Reardon
    Staff Writer, CNET

    Published: April 12, 2006, 10:00 AM PDT

    Walt 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.
    Full story at :
    Growing older is manditory
    Growing up is however, optional

  • #2
    Re: Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable - - 4/12/06

    Sounds like this could open the door to a la carte pricing for cable. This would require a critical mass of networks to allow downloading of shows, though.
    What would I pay for a la carte, instead of a monthly cable bill, whether it is via cable or internet?
    1. HBO.
    2. Comedy Central.
    3. ABC (wife watches too much to let go).
    4. PBS.
    5. Discovery.
    6. ESPN and Duece.
    7. Fox Sports Net.
    8. OLN.
    9. CBS.
    10. Fox (for Simpsons only).
    11. Cartoon Network.
    12. Nick (for the kids, honest!).


    • #3
      Re: Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable - - 4/12/06

      For me it would be

      1. History Channel
      2. Discovery
      3. Animal Planet
      4. Comedy Central
      5. Cartoon Network
      6. ABC
      7. Sci Fi channel
      8. Disney Channel
      Growing older is manditory
      Growing up is however, optional


      • #4
        Re: Free Net TV threatens telecoms and cable - - 4/12/06

        Actually I disagree that it spells trouble for cable companies...

        I think we will begin to see a consolidation of channels/networks starting with the merger of UPN/WB to CW (others will follow)...

        I think there needs to be an emphasis on new content for existing cable networks in order for this to work. Rather than usuing some channels simply to rebroadcast content from other sources...

        Most of cable companies are turning into full service internet and phone service providers anyway... As fast as Phone companies are turning to offer the same types of services...

        The companies that need to a little concerned about the move video rental companies (Netflix and Blockbuster) and DVR services (TiVo)
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