The US network NBC has said it will offer new episodes of its primetime TV series available for download for free viewing up until seven days after the programmes air. The move follows a retraction of NBC programmes from the iTunes store.
The individual programmes will be available in the new NBC Direct service, which uses a player with the Windows video format. They will include series such as “Heroes”, “The Office” and “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. At present, only Microsoft PCs will be able to stream the programmes, though later a special version for Mac users will become available.
In a similar move, Disney’s ABC network has announced it will offer brand new episodes of their prime time shows such as The Bachelor”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty” for free viewing on the AOL Video download platform. Also, premiering series such as “Carpoolers”, “Cavemen” and “Pushing Daisies” will be on offer. At any given moment, up to four episodes of every show will be available.
In a move to pacify its affiliates, ABC has said it will geo-tag each on-demand request in order to run a local station ID with each of the programmes. Viewing is free, but there will be three non-skippable ad breaks in each show. Access via AOL Video is only possible for US residents.