ABC is putting Desperate Housewives, Lost, Commander in Chief, and Alias up as free webcasts, the day after their broadcast premieres. You'll be able to jump from episode to episode, but there will be commercials you can't skip.
It’s uncertain what technology ABC is using, or or whether it'll deliver gorgeous full-screen video or a tiny, choppy window. We're presumably talking streaming-only viewing here, not downloads you can take with you. (ABC is, of course, selling downloadable shows via Apple's iTunes Music Store.)
ABC also announced Soapnetic, a broadband TV channel for Verizon DSL customers featuring some pretty old-school content: soap operas.
Internet TV is still in its very, very early stages, and not every content owner is being as bold as Disney/ABC in trying out different technologies and business models. Still, it's pretty remarkable how much has happened in just the past few months.
Between the shows available on iTunes and AOL's In2TV and NBC's Webcasts of the evening news and Google Video's paid-for episodes of shows like I Love Lucy and other developments, a lot of TV has made the transition to the net all of a sudden. Content owners seem to be a lot more open-minded and experimental than they were when music started to go digital, and that can only be healthy.