RealTime IT News

NBC Does Broadband Before Broadcast

These days, it's broadband before broadcast.

NBC today announced it will stream the premieres of two of its most-new series before they broadcast them. It's the latest in a string of news to suggest to local broadcasters they are facing a brave new world.

Teaming with Warner Bros. Television and AOL, NBC will premiere "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Twenty Good Years" commercial-free on AOL.com, according to statement.

The shows will be available on-demand for the entire week prior to their network broadcast.

And for local broadcasters, that might be a week too soon.

That's because they face an ever-increasing challenge from video and streaming video on the Internet.

In 2005, Sling Media released Slingbox, a digital media processor that enables users to remotely watch the TV it's hooked to with any Internet-connected computer.

It's the kind of product that is wrecking havoc on traditional broadcast norms, such as blackout restrictions for local sports.

And the networks aren't helping, either.

CBS, for example, makes much of its content available on AOL, as well. Some suggest CBS plan to stream the documentary "9/11" because local broadcasters expressed reservation over the film's profanity.

That makes broadband a broadcast work-around. And it's a work-around formula major sports leagues are starting to find success with.

Major League Baseball began putting games online in 2003.

During this past season, they debuted a way to watch six games at once, MLB.TV Mosaic, for their 800,000 subscribers.

That kind of success has the National Football League paying attention. In what might be a test for an eventual offering in the United States, the NFL and Yahoo today announced live game webcasts outside of North America.

"The NFL is committed to taking advantage of new technologies to bring more value to our fans everywhere," NFL Vice President of media strategy Brian Rolapp said in a statement.

Just don't count local broadcasters among those everywhere fans.