updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu September 20, 2007
ABC TV to appear on AOL
Disney-owned ABC TV is planning to expand the reach of its free Internet TV services, says Reuters. Its highest-rated shows should soon be viewable through Time Warner's AOL service, an unusual step in that it is clearly a third-party website, rather than its own first-party site or an application-based service such as iTunes or Joost.
The network is joining the spiritual ranks of NBC, which already hosts episodes and is planning a collaboration with News Corp. (owners of Fox) to start a service called Hulu. On Wednesday NBC further revealed NBC Direct, a download service which will allow PC and Mac users to download and keep TV episodes for up to a week past airdate.
These services are proliferating, Reuters says, because companies including CBS have claimed positive results in early trials of online material. The result has been increased ratings, the main concern now being insurance that TV shows will be accessible wherever Internet users regularly visit.
The new streaming services are not genuinely free, though; they are advertising-supported, such as in the case of ABC.com, which combines national ads with those from the area in a user's IP address.