In separate and seemingly coincidental announcements, two of America’s television heavyweights (NBC and CBS), have both today announced closed system video-on-demand initiatives. NBC will make its primetime programming available on DirecTV Plus, a DVR enabled version of the USA based DirecTV satellite system, CBS will do the same on the USA based Comcast digital cable system. Both will charge 99 cents for shows such as Law and Order, The Office, CSI, and The Amazing Race. Amusingly, DirecTV Plus users will be able to get the same shows for free, just by setting their DVR to record the things in the first place.
Clearly both companies are responding quickly to Apple’s recent announcement regarding ABC shows that will be sold over the Internet for $1.99 via iTunes.
ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively make up the three main networks in America.
NBC and CBS are both missing an opportunity to make their programming available on the Internet, but the announcement bodes well for the future.