ABC is in talks with several Web sites as it tries to create a broad digital distribution platform for its programming, becoming the latest network to signal a reversal in its online strategy. Like other networks, ABC initially took a go-it-alone stance, but is now looking to partner with
Internet players they don’t own or operate in an effort to maximize and monitize their programming online. ABC is rumored to be looking for distribution deals with AOL and MSN, as well as Comcast, MySpace and Yahoo. The move signals an awareness that self-streaming won’t produce enough advertising revenue. One difference so far from the CBS approach, according to Mediaweek: ABC’s distribution agreement requires partner sites to run the network’s video content through a media player it controls. CBS said that it wants its distribution partners to choose what sort of video player will appeal best to the various sites’ particular audiences.