The new video on demand service was dubbed "NBC Direct" and is scheduled to enter its beta phase this October.

According to NBC, the free download list includes eight shows: "Heroes," "The Office," "Life," "Bionic Woman," "30 Rock," "Friday Night Lights," "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

As expected, the soon-to-come service will have the shows available for only seven days, after which the license will expire. So, you either download it and watch it in the first week after broadcast, or you go look for them somewhere else.

Further on, NBC promised to add a pre-select option, so users can choose in advance which shows they want to download on their desktop. On their Windows desktop to be exact, because support for other OSs is to be added later on.

At present time I can’t help but wonder two things. First of all, how will this decision affect the recent NBC – Amazon partnership? Second, is NBC already stepping away from Hulu? Nobody knows what Hulu’s strategy is, but free NBC shows would’ve made a fine addition, no doubts about it.