NBC UNIVERSAL plans to launch NBC Direct this November. The service allows consumers to download NBC shows for free, for one week immediately following broadcast. Downloaded shows will contain commercials that cannot be skipped, and will expire after one week. NBC U plans to offer paid, commercial-free downloads by mid-2008.
ABC has struck a deal that will make full-length prime-time shows available on AOL. The agreement goes into effect today, and will include content from the imminent fall season. AOL will offer ABC shows the day following broadcast, and archive the last few episodes of each show. The move is part of ABC’s broad strategy shift toward partnering with multiple sites for distribution.
APPLE continues to spread the iPhone throughout Europe. The company announced plans to bring the phone to Germany via Deutsche Telecom’s T-Mobile. Steve Jobs hailed T-Mobile’s network, including its 8,600 WiFi hotspots in Germany. The phone will launch on November 9th, the same day it launches in the UK.
STARZ MEDIA announced two new distribution deals, in an effort to expand the online presence of its content. Starz will offer 400 titles on Amazon Unbox, which allows users to download movies and shows to their computers and TiVOs. The company will also sell a limited number of titles via the Xbox Live Marketplace.
DIRECTV CEO Chase Carey told investors that the satellite operator’s VOD offering is coming soon. DirecTV On Demand will allow users to watch free television shows and pay to view movies. The service will include content from A&E, NBC Universal, and several other networks. Carey said the service will launch before January 1st, and that it will only be available to consumers using an HD DVR.