AOL to stream ABC TV programs online

ABC AOLIf you want to rent a video, you can go to pretty much any video store and walk out with a movie of your choice. It doesn't matter what studio produced that film.

But if you want to watch streaming video of network television programs, you either need to visit the network's website or find a site that streams pirated copies.

It looks like that could be changing. Increasingly we're seeing networks offer up programming on sites like MySpace, Yahoo!, and AOL. You know, pretty much anywhere but YouTube.

Today ABC and this blog's parent company AOL have announced an agreement to stream ABC programs through AOL's video portal. You'll still be able to watch recent episodes at ABC.com, but if you want to watch free, advertising-supported videos from ABC, CBS, and several other channels, you can visit AOL. While we work for AOL here at Download Squad, our dram is that one day streaming video will be more like video rental stores. You'll be able to visit the portal of your choice and watch all the video you want.

ABC will offer about four episodes of popular programs at a time on AOL's video site. AOL and ABC will split the advertising revenue. Meanwhile, NBC and News Corp are preparing to launch their own video portal, possibly within the next few weeks. NBC also plans to launch a service that lets users download free programs that can be watched within one week of their original broadcast date.

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