Disney Offers Free Downloads

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To promote its fall season, Disney-ABC is giving away one million free video downloads of three of its hit series on iTunes. Last season's finales of Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and Lost will be offered between Sept. 14 through Oct. 4 in addition to unlimited downloads of highlight shows for each of the three series.

Disney-ABC and Apple have had a special relationship since ABC offered the first video downloads through the iTunes store last year. iTunes now offers 200 TV shows. Through this promotion, being called the "Million Hit Lowdown," visitors to ABC.com can click a link to go directly to the iTunes store to claim a free download of one of the three shows' finales and the free highlight specials.

Heading into the fall TV season, broadcast networks have been exploiting digital distribution as a means to build buzz for their new shows. NBC has offered pilots on Netflix, while CBS is streaming them for free on Google and giving previews on TiVo.

 ABC has been the most selective in distributing full episodes online, only streaming them on ABC.com and selling them on iTunes.

"We're not in the business of putting previews everywhere," Disney-ABC TV Group Executive VP, Digital Media Albert Cheng tells B&C. "When it comes down to marketing in the online space, it needs to be organic and make sense."

Episodes from the new seasons of Grey's, Lost and Desperate will be available on iTunes later this season a day after they air on TV.

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