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FREE THINGS ONLINE: NBC to offer free tv shows

Sunday, September 23, 2007

NBC to offer free tv shows

NBC has announced plans for embarking on a bold new intuitive in which it finally acknowledges that people are increasingly moving away from traditional television viewing patterns.More and more people want to consume television programming on their own terms -- at a place and time of their own choosing. As a result, NBC has decided to begin allowing people to download TV episodes using a new service it plans to call "NBC Direct."

It will allow users to download a TV show for up to a week after the show has aired on broadcast TV, for 7 days from this date it will automatically delete itself. The only real drawback is that the video file will contain embedded ads that supposedly can't be skipped.

A test version of the new service will launch in October and will eventually be expanded in coming months to let users subscribe to shows and download them automatically. By the end of the year NBC also promises to allow viewers to also transfer content to a portable media player or a MAC. NBC intends to transform the service into a model similar to iTunes by the middle of 2008 where consumers “We did this to eliminate the middleman,” said Jeff Gaspin, the president of NBC’s digital division.

“With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they consume their favorite entertainment,” said Vivi Zigler, the executive vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. “Not only does this feature give them more control, but it also gives them a higher quality video experience.”

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