ITV, Disney-ABC provide downloads

Move allows users to watch with ad breaks

LONDON — Disney-ABC International and Channel 4 have agreed a deal to give auds advertiser-supported free downloads of high-profile shows like “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives.”

The move represents a European first for Disney. It will allow users to watch fare with commercial breaks via Channel 4’s fledgling on demand service, 4oD, for up to 30 days following the original TV broadcast.

Initiative kicks off Oct 19 with “Ugly Betty.” Subsequent seasons of “Desperate Housewives,” “Brothers & Sisters,” and the upcoming “Reaper” and “Dirty Sexy Money” will follow the same model.

Said C4 acquisition topper Jeff Ford: “We want Channel 4 viewers to be able to see our shows in a format, time and platform to suit them and to make the process as simple as possible.

“This deal means that viewers can now catch up on some of their favorite U.S. shows, alongside home grown product, free of charge at a time convenient to them which can only be good news.”