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ABC Offers LOST Online in Asia for Free on TVB

One of the biggest complaints for LOST and ABC has been that the International fans have not been able to view the episodes online at ABC.com. Fans have had to resort to downloading episodes illegally, but it seems like a new deal by ABC and one of Asia's (Hong Kong) top English networks have made a deal to allow fans in those markets to watch the episode online after it airs on TV.

Could this be a sign of the future for other international markets as well?? Of course there will always be fans that want to download the shows for their "own" purposes, but at least this opens the door to new fans and it might help minimize illegal downloads.

Here are the details:

Hong Kong's top English-language channel, TVB Pearl, is partnering with Disney-ABC International Television to launch Catchup TV, a free on-demand TV service here.

"Dirty Sexy Money" will launch the service Friday on TVB.com, just 12 hours after the drama series premieres on the Hong Kong terrestrial channel, the companies said at a signing ceremony Tuesday.

A first of its kind service for ABC in Asia, TVB.com will make episodes of "Dirty" along with such ABC-produced shows as "Lost," "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" online for four weeks.

Disney-ABC International Television Asia Pacific senior vp and managing director Rob Gilby told The Hollywood Reporter that Catchup TV is a "complementary service" that will echo the success of the network's Web portal at home.

"When we launched ABC.com in the U.S., we found that it helps support viewers to enjoy the show on the network, they can also enjoy it online. It's an additive process," Gilby said.

Cecilia Tan, deputy controller of TVB's program division, said that TVB is looking forward to expanding the Catchup TV lineup to include series from other networks.

Source: THR