99-cent TV programs

November 7, 2005

NBC and CBS have each announced plans to offer on-demand versions of some of their most popular programs for 99 cents per episode starting early next year (link via Drudge). ABC has already been offering select downloads of their programs via iTunes for $1.99. I’m happy to see the networks take this step voluntarily. It indicates to me that they recognize that they cannot follow the same path that the RIAA initially pursued when confronted with online file-sharing. Of course, I expect that there will be some network resistance to allowing easy transfer of their programs to computers. Users will also have to be customers of certain content providers to receive the shows; the programs will not be available online, but instead be accessed through DirectTV (NBC) or Comcast OnDemand (CBS). Still, it is a step in the right direction.

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