ABC Streams Hit Shows to European Fans For Free

by Paul William Tenny

ABC/Disney has made a deal with a Euro television network to stream a couple of their shows online, for free, but ad-supported meaning you'll still be stuck watching commercials. Essentially it'll be just like television, only much worse video quality and a much lower quality of service (ever see your television say "Buffering..." when you change the channel? Didn't think so.) The Variety article only mentions two shows, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, so it's not like they're going out a limb with their best rated and highest earning shows.

Still, it's laughable that ABC and the other networks and studios are crying all over the negotiating table over the supposed uncertainty of the download and streaming video market. Writers are demanding that at the very least they should be paid residuals (fee for reuse of material they contributed) at the pay-TV rate, the same fees they'd be getting if the show in question was being rerun on TV itself, versus the horrible home video rate for which they are paid for DVD rentals and sales today. Meanwhile, every single network in the U.S. has setup some system in some place that allows you to either stream their shows for free, or buy them wrapped in DRM.

In case you are wondering, an article in the L.A. Times recently said that for any given single DVD sale, the studios are paying 50 cents to the physical manufacturer of the box and disc, but just 20 cents to the writer, director, and actors combined. The rest goes directly into their pocket.

That's why there will be a strike.
in Streaming Video


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