The Wall Street Journal has a perceptive piece on how ABC affiliates view TV Downloads. It reports that the president of the association representing ABC’s affiliates “expressed misgivings” about Apple having the right to sell episodes of “Lost” to viewers the day after they are broadcast on ABC.

As things now stand, you would have to question whether a relatively low-resolution, small screen could pose much of a threat to traditional HDTV broadcasts (see eg this NY Times story about modifying content to fit on tiny screens). However, as viewing devices get better, and the range of shows increases, it looks like TV stations — and not just affiliates — will be victims of some amount of disintermediation, as shows move directly from content producers to consumers. The constraint would have to be, however, that networks can still offer much higher fees for first bite at that content than a per-fee download provider. For now.

[Edit: added 20.10.05: see also this SMH piece on Channel Seven offering TV via mobiles.