A while Back I started talking about the IP-TV future. Of course, I don't consider my thoughts about the IP TV future to be visionary, but rather, my thoughts are an obvious progression from the current emerging state of televsion technology.
With the advent of iTunes videos and Google Video, as well as the talk about how telcos are prepping and market-testing their own IP-TV services, there has been a lot of buzz about how IP-TV and unbundling of TV networks in cable offerings will kill small networks and, by proxy, eliminate the made-for-tv productions that they currently produce. While I don't disagree with the former, I totally disagree with the latter point - case in point, NBC's marketing campaign for the new drama Conviction.
NBC has teamed up with Apple to offer the pilot on iTunes as a free download. Why? because this generates buzz, and potential interest in the show. In addition, feedback on the pilot will help dictate if the show should be cancelled, or give possible indication of re-working. It will also give the network an early idea of the popularity and maybe even determine pricing.
I think that iTunes, Google Video and the like are the real future of TV.