ABC taking TV online
ABC announced today it would offer four of its most popular shows -- “Lost,” “Commander In Chief,” “Desperate Housewives” and“Alias” -- available gratis on its Web site during May and June.
Network TV has been moving in this direction for the last year or so -- you can plenty of current television on iTunes. And, if the networks can keep the ad dollars when they move the product online, it makes all kinds of sense to switch to an on-demand model.
However, what I'm wondering is what this means for all the affiliates out there (I'm looking at you, KRDO). Their network, their partner, their content provider, is doing everything it can to go behind their backs and deliver content directly (and without any local advertising, naturally). That's got to be disquieting, don't you think?
Internet delivery is not ready for prime time. It's still too slow, the image quality is lacking (especially compared to high definition) and if by some miracle 20 million "Lost" fans actually tried to download the show instead of tuning in on Wednesday, it would crash the servers so fast Einstein would go cross-eyed.
Nevertheless, direct, on-demand content delivery is obviously where things are headed. And so it's not too soon to wonder what it will mean for local broadcasters and content providers (I'm looking in the mirror on that one).