Viacom will be launching TheDailyShow.com with the entire back catalog of John Stewart online. After fighting with YouTube, MTV is finally bringing a worth only video strategy and offering all of the content of their popular downloaded shows on their websites free with pre-roll.
Last year I watched nearly the entire Heroes season on the NBC website, until last week when I went back to watch the final 5 episodes before the second season starts. Unfortunately the episodes are no longer offered for free online because they released the DVD's for sale. What they need to realize is that the people who watch on NBC.com are not watching in place of buying the DVD. The DVD's catch is extended premium content, and people who want to have full HD quality, extras, deleted scenes, etc, will buy the content regardless of the availability on the website. For me watching the old episodes isn't important enough to purchase, but I want to catch up and I'd happily watch commercials on the website if I could see the content online for free. Otherwise I have to turn to other options.
Viacom's offering of The Daily Show online for free is a natural, necessary, and lucrative step in the future of television video content. The next step is for them to allow VeohTV to pull in the content and represent it as a full video on demand channel, as long as they leave the advertising pre-roll in tact.