ABC's Streaming TV

Yesterday, ABC launched a new web tool that let’s you watch new episodes from four of their most popular TV shows.  I tested it out with the latest episode of Lost and was impressed.  The shows are broken up into sections with commercials at the start of each section.  You can jump around within the sections as much as you want, but going to a new section requires that you watch some more commercials.

I don’t know how much money ABC is making on this, but it seems like a fair deal for the viewers.  I’d much rather watch a couple minutes of commercials per episode than pay $2 (or whatever they’re charging) for commercial free shows on iTunes.  It seems like a good deal for advertisers too because people can’t fast forward through commercials like we do with TiVo.

The current incarnation of ABC’s streaming service will only run for two months.  I get the feeling that they’re just testing the waters.  If it does well, I’m sure it’ll be back next Fall. Of course, if nobody watches, then they’ve just spend a whole bunch of money on servers and software development for nothing.  I can’t imagine that people won’t watch, it may just take a while to get the word out and people used to the idea.  I wonder if Firefly would still be on the air if Fox had something like this a few years ago.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see some Internet-only TV shows in the near future either.

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