Jump to content

TV hits move to Net

Guest *dW*

Recommended Posts

From News.com.au

KERRY Stokes's Seven Network is putting aside fears that the rise of internet television services will fracture its audiences by drawing up plans to launch its own shows in cyberspace.

Executives at Seven are preparing to make hit shows such as Dancing With The Stars and All Saints available to be downloaded over a broadband internet connection for free.

Seven is also eager to strike a deal with US media giant Walt Disney, with which the network has an output agreement, to enable US hits such as Desperate Housewives and Lost to be able to be downloaded through Seven's joint-venture online portal, Yahoo!7.

Under one model being considered, all of the shows would be embedded with advertising and available online soon after each episode had been broadcast on Seven. One source said trials were likely within a year or earlier if broadband speeds quickened.

Disney's ABC Network announced last week a two-month trial through which episodes of Desperate Housewives, Lost, Commander in Chief and Alias would be able to be downloaded in the US for free.

Only people with an American ISP will be able to download the shows, however, to protect the value of international output deals with broadcasters such as Seven, which screen episodes weeks after their debut in the US.


Yahoo!7, set up in January as a competitor to James Packer's ninemsn joint venture, has been increasingly building up video options available for download.

In recent weeks, Seven News video, Sunrise segments, preview reels of upcoming episodes of Desperate Housewives and Lost and behind-the-scenes segments from Dancing With The Stars have been made available.

It plans to add more video content to its site, including old footage from TV programs such as The Great Outdoors.

Yahoo!7 says it distributed 2.3 million video streams in February and 2.7 million in March.

Yahoo!7 interim chief executive Rohan Lund has declined to comment on the possibility of entire shows being available.

But he said this month that he believed video online complemented rather than threatened free-to-air by allowing viewers to watch shows at a time of their own choosing.

"Rich media (such as video streaming) is the new battleground on the internet," said Mr Lund, who is also Seven's digital media and strategic investments director.

Seven executives believe the only "speed hump" to putting shows online is the strength of Australia's broadband network.

Broadband speeds of about two megabits a second are needed to allow movies and TV shows to be downloaded quickly, but Telstra reportedly caps the speed of its digital subscriber line network at about 1.5 megabits.

But hopes are rising that negotiations between Telstra and the Federal Government will be completed soon to finally enable the building of a $3 billion high-speed broadband network.

Australian network bosses will be closely watching the Disney experiment, particularly to gauge the reaction of the 10 advertisers taking part in the trial.

Mr Packer, executive chairman of Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd, has also been pushing for further integration between the company's Nine Network, its magazine stable and ninemsn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.