Disney's ABC network is the latest Hollywood company to turn to the Internet as it has announced that it will be offering some of its most popular shows, such as "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for free on the Internet in a 2-month trial.

The programmes will be made free by un-skipable advertising embedded in the episodes.

Sources online suggest that AT&T, Ford, Procter & Gamble and Universal Pictures already signed up.

Although the company currently offers the TV programmes via Apple's iTunes Store in the US, it appears that the company is keen to follow other revenue streams.

Lost and Desperate Housewives aren't the only shows that will be available on the web in May and June, Commander in Chief and Alias will also be downloadable.

Disney is also launching a high-speed internet channel for soap opera fans, called Soapnetic on April 17 for subscribers to Verizon Communication's internet services.

The shows will be available on the Web the morning after they are broadcast on ABC and will be archived so that viewers can eventually watch a whole season of shows. They will be available on the ABC and Disney Channel websites.

To view the ABC shows on the Web, people will need a broadband internet connection.

However UK users will miss out once again because Channel 4, not Disney owns the rights in the UK. Geo-tracking to see which country the surfer is accessing from will stop all requests outside the US.