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Disney, ABC & Apple Announce Deal to Sell TV Shows Online

In conjunction with the new release of iTunes 6, ABC and its parent company Disney have announced a partnership that would allow Apple to offer episodes of several hit shows for sale online through its iTunes Music Store. The companies will start this collaboration with five shows.

From ABC, current episodes of the hit series "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" will be available for purchase the day after they air on television. The network is also making the entire first seasons of both series available for download immediately. ABC will also offer its new series "Night Stalker," an updated remake of the popular supernatural 70's series of the same name, the day after an episode airs.

From the Disney Channel, two popular children's series, "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," will have new episodes available the day after they air, as well as select past episodes, which will be available immediately.

"This initiative is a perfect example of us applying our strategic priorities, namely, marrying great content with cutting edge technology to more effectively distribute our content while enhancing the experience for our customers," said Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. "For the first time ever, hit primetime shows can be purchased online the day after they air on TV."

Each episode will retail for $1.99, and currently will only be available to US customers. Those who purchase the episodes will be able to view them on their PC or Mac, as well as auto-sync them onto the new iPod for viewing anywhere.

Now while this may seem like a cheap way to get a complete season without having to shell out for an expensive box set, keep in mind that at $1.99 a pop, a full season will average about $45-50 -- about the same price as the box set. And with the box sets, you usually get extras, like commentary tracks, blooper reels and deleted scenes.

But, if you're just looking to catch up while on the go, this partnership could be a great way to watch your favorite shows in a new format. Not to mention you don't have to worry about losing the dvds while traveling.

"Disney and Apple are offering customers a new and exciting way to experience television," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "To be able to download your favorite TV shows right from iTunes for just $1.99 and then watch them on your computer and iPod is revolutionary."

What do you think? Would you be willing to purchase any of these show's episodes online? Or is just watching them on tv enough? Talk about it on our message boards.

For more information on iTunes, please visit www.apple.com/itunes. For more information on the TV shows mentioned in this article, please visit www.abc.com and www.disneychannel.com.

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