NBC and CBS to Rent TV Shows

By Jon Newton 11/08/05

Americans are to be offered DRM-loaded, downloan "prime-time" TV at $1 per episode, "shifting television toward a sales model that gained popularity with downloaded music," says the Washington Post.

"This isn't an acquisition model," USA Today has NBC's David Zaslav saying. "This is more of a rental model."

And the decision to charge a dollar "wasn't scientific," he says. "It's low enough to attract viewers, and it felt like an amount that's in balance" with payments for movies and other VOD programming.

Jon Newton

In fact, music rentals aren't working. The "model" exists only in the minds of the people who run the Big Four record labels. Ninety-nine percent of online music lovers use the p2p networks.

And shows will be "wiped off the hard drive once the next episode of the show airs and cannot be saved on other devices," says USA Today. This means customers will have to give the TV broadcasters free access to their computers, with all that implies.

"CBS is teaming up with Comcast Corp. and NBC with satellite operator DirecTV to offer the on-demand replays," says the Washington Post. "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. Comcast's on-demand customers in some markets will be able to view 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,' 'NCIS,' 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race' at their convenience."

As catflaps states it, "The American TV networks are in trouble. BIG trouble. But that’s not BIG news.

"What is big news is that they’re scrambling at the 11th hour to change their business and distribution models to meet (what they believe are) consumers’ demands."


Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

Other MP3 stories:
Can iTunes Resurrect Old Time TV?
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part I
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part II
iPod Killers for Christmas 2005 Part III

The 30GB iPod Video is available on Amazon

Back to