More Internet TV action this week from one of the major networks. The LA Times reports that, as of today, Fox Broadcasting is giving away free downloads of season premiere episodes of seven its shows on the U.S. version of the iTunes Store.
Only recently, CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves said that he viewed iTunes “as much as a promotional vehicle… as a financial vehicle”. It seems that Fox may have a similar opinion.
From the LA Times:
The Fox-Apple deal is designed to expose iPod users to the upcoming season of new and returning prime-time shows. Executives with the News Corp.-owned network hope that free downloads of such shows as “Prison Break,” “Bones,” “American Dad” and “K-Ville” will entice viewers to watch later installments on TV or pay to download them from the iTunes store.
I recently wrote that such moves by the major networks provided evidence of a new strategy in which syndication and getting content onto as many different online platforms as possible was replacing central distribution.
However, Tim Hanlon, a consultant quoted in the Times piece, puts it even better:
“What we are seeing is a rather messy and inelegant fumbling into the future of video distribution.”
Messy, inelegant and fumbling. Perfect.