Thursday, September 20, 2007

Disney/ABC Shifts Its Digital Distribution Strategy -- "To Syndicate or Not to Syndicate", That WAS the Question

To syndicate or not to syndicate, that WAS the question.

I previously blogged about the divergent digital distribution strategies of the major television networks -- Disney's ABC network has been the poster child for trying to drive online viewership of its television content to its own walled garden of websites, whereas CBS proudly trumpeted its syndication strategy (as many websites as possible).

Well, though only a few months have gone by (less than 6 months to be precise), the times they-are-a-changin' ... and fast. ABC now has announced that, starting today, it has become the latest major television network to agree to make its prime-time shows available for free on AOL.

All major television networks have now officially adopted syndication as the foundation of their digital distribution strategies. The question is no longer an open one.

Now, the new question becomes whether these networks will be able to effectively monetize their programming online.