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"Lost" character John Locke--now on AOL  (Source: ABC)
ABC tries to steal NBC's thunder with its own announcement.

As reported at DailyTech, NBC Universal announced this week that it would be launching a direct download service to allow viewers to download episodes of their TV shows free of charge.

The move followed ABC's initiative from last year to offer free primetime TV content available to download from its website. Now ABC appears to be attempting to steal a bit of NBC's press thunder with an announcement of its own. 

ABC will be offering its prime time content on AOL Video. The shows will be paid for with embedded advertisements, like NBC's shows.

ABC is owned by Walt Disney and AOL is owned by Time Warner, so the move marks a major collaboration between the two media giants.

Otherwise, the main impact appears to be that ABC will be the first network to give viewers the choice to either download TV content or view it online at AOL Video, both for free.  This may be useful in cases where viewers can't download videos due to filtering or in older machines where hard drive space is scarce (though that is less likely with today's massive hard drives).

Among the shows ABC will be showing on AOL Video are "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy".  New shows will be added for the fall TV season.

Four episodes per show will usually be online at once and older episodes will be removed after a set number of days.

The move follows a wave of free, which besides NBC's announcement includes SpiralFrog's free music download service and The New York Times'opening of their archives and select columns.





“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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