Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What You Want When You Want It (For A Price)

This is kinda cool... USA Today (via Yahoo) reports that CBS and NBC have agreed to sell prime-time shows to Comcast and DirecTV customers on-demand for 99 cents a pop. (InformationWeek notes that it's actually NBC who has a deal with DirecTV and CBS who has a deal with Comcast, not both on both.)

"Dramas will be available only until the next new episode airs, but viewers with digital video recorders (DVR) can save copies." Which, if they aren't DRM-ed to death, means that viewers (at least those semi-sophisticates who can get their DVRs and computers to talk to each other) can probably watch those episodes on their iPods.

I think Apple's deal with ABC is actually more revolutionary than the networks' deal with cable: it bypasses the ordinary television channels entirely, doesn't require a subscription -- it's a pure, one-show for one-price point-of-sale transaction. But maybe what's emerging here is a kind of intermedia synergy where entertainment, not information or commerce, is leading the way. And to be sure, since entertainment has always been at the intersection of commerce, the other two would be stupid not to follow.

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