I’ve been saying it for 2-3 years; when the heck will tv producers—who sell their shows ready made to networks—start selling their shows online? Obviously there was the whole bandwith issue and a lot of licensing contracts are long term so they didn’t have time to change them but still, I expected something earlier.
In this article on Slate a number of possible schemes to sell tv online are proposed. Going as far as suggesting shows financed solely by online purchasing. A couple million people buying an episode at 2-3$ a pop could finance an hour of drama.
If we assume that the average hour-long drama costs $1.5 million per episode and downloads will cost around $2 per viewer, shows would only need a few million viewers to turn a small profit. Would a few million viewers pay $2 a week to download an hour of television? It’s certainly not impossible. In the past month, viewers have shelled out more than $30 million for two hours of Serenity.