Networks to start selling shows on demand.

[q]CBS, NBC to offer TV shows for 99 cents
By Associated Press
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 - Updated: 01:22 PM EST

NEW YORK - CBS and NBC have announced deals to offer replays of prime-time programs for 99 cents per episode, shifting television toward a sales model that gained popularity with downloaded music.

CBS is teaming up with Comcast Corp. and NBC with satellite operator DirecTV to offer the on-demand replays.

NBC Universal will offer commercial-free episodes of “Law & Order: SVU” and other shows to subscribers of DirecTV Group Inc. who use the satellite company’s new digital video recorder.

Terms of the deals, which were announced Monday, were not disclosed. [/q]

(More @ link)

The day’s not too far away when they start selling “spoiler” episodes for $2.99 (i.e., see “Lost” on Saturday night for $2.99 rather than waiting until Wednesday for free). Then they’ll start selling subscriptions to series, and finally figure out a way to charge you a fraction of a penny for every minute of TV watched.


So if you want to buy rebroadcasts of both CBS and NBC shows, you need to subscribe to two services?

I think it’s too early to tell if this is a step in the right direction (TV shows a la carte) or not (increased network control and revenue).

Personally, I think this is considerably less impressive than the TV shows available over iTunes, and I don’t think that’s a huge deal either. At least that was a new delivery system and a way of buying TV without getting a whole DVD set. This amounts to adding TV shows to the Pay-Per-View lineup.

Paying for rebroadcasts? Why not just buy a VCR, DVDR, or Tivo?

I’d maybe buy a la carte episodes of shows I miss not having cable, but they’d have to be cheap for the convenience of seeing it now as compared to waiting until I can get the tape of the show from my mom. 99 cents an episode sounds about right, as long as I can save it to a hard drive and watch it over and over. But that’d cut into DVD sales I think.

Hopefully what will happen will be something like this:

We’ve got two new shows. One is kinda innovative, kinda edgy. The Nielson’s ratings don’t seem so hot.

We’ve got yet another canned, boring sit-com about a group of twenty or thirty-somethings hanging out, doing nothing, it’s cheap to produce and the Nielson’s ratings seem pretty good. Which do we keep?

Well, the creative, edgy show was downloaded 5 million times at $.99 a pop. Apparently, no one wants to download the boring sit-com.

Yah! Better TV!

I know, I’m dreaming. But wouldn’t it be nice?