I'm not sure I'm taking the "NBCU to Hulu: Screw You!" attitude that some are taking about NBC's decision to offer its own shows free via downloads with advertising. The shows expire after one week and can no longer be viewed.
Some, like venture capitalist Fred Wilson believe they should just offer them free forever. I agree with Fred, though I think this will not likely happen until the DVD revenue stream dries up. I believe that will ultimately happen and that people will purchase nothing on DVD or any other physical media. We're also probably heading to a world where nobody BUYS anything they've already paid to receive via their monthly cable/satellite packages.
Our cable and satellite bills will go up, but in the future we'll have access to anything and everything via on-demand. It's just a question of when. I'd predict this is at least 10 years off and probably closer to 20.