It’s fascinating watching the major U.S. television networks fine-tune their Internet TV strategies, in an ongoing attempt to find their place in the digital world. The latest announcement comes from Disney-owned ABC, who, as of today, will be syndicating a number of their prime time shows on Time Warner’s AOL Video property (WSJ).
ABC shows, such as Lost and Ugly Betty, will be made available for streaming — fee of charge — the day after broadcast, with up to four episodes from a series on offer at any one time. Ad-revenue will be split between ABC and Time Warner, in addition to a share going to ABC’s local television affiliates, with the amount determined through the use of geo-targeted advertising.
In keeping with traditional territorial distribution, AOL’s ABC offering will be available to U.S. Internet users only.
We’re clearing moving into a phase where the television networks are beginning to embrace a strategy in which they’re abandoning central online distribution and embracing syndication, and as a result are willing to experiment with getting their content onto as many platforms as possible, both ad-supported (Joost, AOL etc) and paid-for offerings (e.g. iTunes, UnBox, XBox Live).