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Strong Demand for ABC TV Shows Online

Reuters reports that viewers have watched ABC television shows available online about 3 million times since the Walt Disney Co. network launched the free service just over two weeks ago, Disney's chief executive said.

The figure provides an early sign of demand for television programs available on the Internet as television broadcasters experiment with new ways of reaching viewers. ABC began a two-month Internet trial earlier this month, allowing viewers to watch four of its programs, including blockbuster hits "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," on the Web with commercials.

"We're going to experiment with different business models," Disney CEO Bob Iger said at a lunch sponsored by the Boston College Chief Executives' Club. Disney is looking at a variety of options for expanding the service, which airs shows on the ABC.com site about 12 hours after they are first broadcast on television, Iger said.

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