ABC and CBS Shows Free on the iPad, Hulu Still Waffling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    CBS will be on the iPad for free.

    Good news for the iPad (and hopefully other mobile devices if the experiment works), ABC and CBS are bringing their TV shows to the device by way of ad-supported streaming, such as CBS's How I Met Your Mother, pictured above. Read: free for you and for me — well, unless you count the valuable time you spend watching commercials.

    ABC is getting it done with an app that's already in the App Store, while CBS is going with a browser-based setup, which will offer both full episodes, as well as shorter promos. So, think Hulu's full-length programs and clips.

    Speaking of Hulu, the veteran Internet television service still hasn't sorted out its approach to streaming media on Apple's Flash-hatin' devices. Hulu chief executive Jason Kilar, speaking to The New York Times, seemed to want it both ways, saying, "We're certainly open to subscriptions as a complement to an ad-supported model." (Which could mean free TV shows supported by ads alongside movie rentals, though Hulu has been considering said subscription model quite a bit.)

    Avner Ronen, chief executive of Boxee, was even less hopeful of Hulu's chances of coming to mobile devices as-is. "A one-size-fits-all business model is very difficult to pull off," Ronen told The New York Times. "Media companies are much more savvy now about those deals. Everyone realizes now that free ad-supported content is not the exclusive model of the future; it's just one part of it."

    It's worth noting that Disney, owner of ABC, is also one of the content providers for Hulu. If the company is getting into the mobile streaming game itself, it doesn't bode well for Hulu if other content providers decide to do the same, and leave the pioneering service behind.

    WSJ and NYT, via Mac Rumors