New distribution methods for TV programming

by David Eckoff · 0 comments

Newsday has a good read, “TV or more TV?” The article focuses on the changing ways you can watch TV now that you can watch your favorite shows on your computer, cell phone or iPod.

The video-cable iPod is credited with getting the ball rolling last October, with ABC offering downloads of “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” commercial-free for $1.99 per episode. CBS and my industry colleague Brinley Turner then jumped into the fray, offering fee-based episodes online of new “Survivor” episodes immediately after their airing, while NBC and other cable channels have joined ABC on the iPod bandwagon.

With video now on the Internet, iPods, VOD and cell phones, the article questions if the current flurry of high-tech innovation seems to be outpacing viewer desires and the ability to follow the fast-moving developments.

“Basically, some products are being pushed forward,” says media analyst Phillip Swann of, “not so much because consumers are rising up demanding it, but because the technology could create it.”

But David Katz, head of sports and entertainment for Yahoo! Media Group, (and formerly of CBS where he and Scott Ehrlich formerly of RealNetworks got together five years ago to pioneer the leading edge live online video “Big Brother 24/7”) notes: “If you look at high-definition TV sets, they all have Ethernet jacks in the back for you to put a high-speed connection in. … That then kind of blurs the line. Are you getting content from a network? Are you getting content from a Web site? Does it really matter to you?”

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