MTV series to debut on iTunes US before TV

Entire season will be available to buy before it goes on TV

The US MTV2 network is to release the forthcoming season of ' The Andy Milonakis Show ' on iTunes a whole month before it starts showing it on television. It's thought to be the first time a major television programme has been made available online in its entirety before its initial TV broadcast.

Andy Milonakis became a web sensation in 2003 after posting his home movies of webcam videos and comical short films. The first episode of the new season will cost fans in North America $1.99 (£1) with the entire season costing $9.99 (£5).

The programme will also be available from Amazon Unbox, Wal-Mart Video Downloads, AOL Video and Xbox Live Marketplace for the same price.

It's not the first time a TV company has released episodes on the internet before their initial broadcast, but it is certainly the first time an entire series has been made available for purchase before the first episode has even been shown.

The new strategy could be designed to beat the growing number of people who choose to illegally download advertising-free TV programmes via BitTorrent and other P2P software. MTV could well be hoping that downloaders might be willing to pay for shows instead of stealing them.

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