Taken from: http://www.podcastpublishing.com/public/item/117529 at about 1pm Mountain Time on March 2, 2006.
iTunes Soon To Have Popular TV Shows For Free
Ad-supported iTunes Video of Your Favorite Shows
iTunes has finally come full-circle. Their latest announcement indicates ABC will soon be offering podcast advertisingfree TV shows, for download, supported only by advertising.
Currently, a typical 30 minute TV episode download on iTunes is $1.99. They'll continue to offer these pay-as-you-go episodes, sans commercials, for all their viewers who abhor advertisements.
ABC CEO Bob Iger suggested they were trying different business models. They are staying open to see what works and what doesn't.
They were excited to see NO decrease in offline viewership, even as shows like '24' and 'The Office' (FOX and NBC, respectively) saw amazing popularity on the music/podcast service. In fact, Grey's Anatomy ended up just behind the Winter Olympics in Neilsen ratings (pretty impressive), even with the show's iTunes popularity.
Look for 'Lost', 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Grey's Anatomy' (my favorite) to be offered, for free, with commercial sponsorship, soon. No exact dates were given.