Analysts are saying ABC and Disney may have bitten off more than they can chew by announcing free, streaming video tests over the Internet.
Earlier this week, ABC and Disney announced they’d be starting a trial soon in which they’d put out episodes of shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives for stream viewing the day after they go through their normal runs. The idea is meant to help the two further test the waters of Internet viewing over and above their iTunes experiments.
According to MSNBC, the analysts say the stream, unlike a direct download, might run into quality issues. The only way to remedy this is for the two to make some serious infrastructure improvements to ensure quality remains high. Whether Disney and ABC will be willing to do what’s necessary to ensure optimum quality remains to be seen.
The test, however, is a good idea in my opinion for the networks to pursue. Television fans deserve a “free” alternative to catching their favorite shows outside of the boxed in network timeframes. The paid market on iTunes likely would remain high even if ABC and Disney made the stream a routine part of its programming since the downloadable versions aren’t commercial laden, but the streaming video would be.[ADBLOCKHERE]
With so many entertainment alternatives now, the only way for good shows to survive is for the networks to come up with creative ideas to reel in viewers. This counts as a creative idea in my book. And, who knows, maybe if networks pursue fans on all fronts, good shows won’t have to crash and burn thanks to bad time slots and knee-jerk network decisions. Firefly, Angel, the original Family Guy run, anyone?
Frankly, my hat’s off to ABC and Disney for trying something new. Here’s hoping they don’t suffer massive lag issues and the quality remains good during the test.