ABC shows draw 3 million views

Viewers have watched ABC television shows available online about 3 million times since the Walt Disney Co. network launched the free service just over two weeks ago, Disney's chief executive said Thursday.

The figure provides an early sign of demand for television programs available on the Internet as broadcasters experiment with new ways of reaching viewers.

ABC began a two-month Internet trial earlier this month, allowing viewers to watch four of its programs, including blockbuster hits Desperate Housewives and Lost, on the Web with commercials.

"We're going to experiment with different business models," Disney CEO Bob Iger said on Thursday at a lunch sponsored by the Boston College Chief Executives' Club.

Disney is looking at a variety of options for expanding the service, which airs shows on the site about 12 hours after they are first broadcast on television, Iger said.

Each online episode kicks off with a 10-second sponsorship message from a single advertiser. It is followed by three commercials that air during breaks in the program.

Viewers have to watch or click through ads to get to the next segment of the program.

When asked if might charge for some shows, Iger said that was among the options that Disney was considering.

In addition to offering ad-supported programming on, Disney currently sells ad-free downloads of top-rated ABC shows through Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes online store.

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Doesn't matter to me Ive been downloading U.S. Tv shows for 7 years now and I get the best quality video WITH no ads and no charges :)

Is it illegal to video tape an episode of That 70s Show and show it to your friends?

Is it illegal to video tape That 70s Show and not record the adverts and show your friends?

no its not, so it shouldnt matter that the medium used to record episodes is a computer instead of a video recorder and that my friends who share it with me arent acctually my friends. (they could be I just havent got to know them yet hrrhrr)

Its not illegal to download TV shows, but TV channels want it to be so they can make more money

all they care about is money and all you care about is money, which is why they can get away with ripping people off at any chance they an get.
It's pretty cool I enjoy it alot. Just I like itunes better even if you have to pay. Better video.
Too bad is just for US residents, I pretty much missed the first two seasons but got a recent interest. I went to their web site to find out that as a Canadian I can't join the fun. I had to look for alternate options. They just lost their shot at bringing more audience to see their advertisement. (I know some advertisers are related to Canada or other countries so they're not interested in paying higher fees)
You pay on itunes because that is the only legit way to get music. Its a business so don't be surprised if you have to pay online, actually when you watch it on tv you pay for cable so it is not really "free."

Its free to se eon tv, so just make it free, with commercials, as is now. Its a good system, and if they start forcing payment, its no better than itunes.

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