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Internet TV Won't Always Be Free

  • CNN, Friday, February 26, 2010 12:09 AM
In the near future, TV is going to be available anywhere, but don't expect it to be free. Viewers are already taking full advantage of online television, but advertisers are coy about the medium. Broadcast networks make many of their shows available on Web sites like Hulu and YouTube a day after they air, and many cable stations also put their shows on the Web. But advertisers are paying the same rates online.

In December, more than 178 million Americans watched TV online, streaming 33 billion shows, according to comScore. In the traditional TV model, networks get paid tens of billions by advertisers and billions more in retrans fees by cable and satellite providers. Satellite and cable providers get paid in subscription fees by customers. The free Internet TV model cuts out the middle man: Networks post their content directly online and advertisers pay for the right to place their ads on the Web site.



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