Most people just assumed that tv programs can be digitally distributed similar to VCR cassettes, from one friend to the next. I can understand why they want to go after the movie torrents and downloads, it is actually cheaper to rent/or go to movie theater, than the long wait in download, but TV shows???
Downloading TV series may or may not hurt the future DVD sale of the series. I would not purchase the DVD of a TV series I have never seen. But I do purchase TV series DVD of the ones I know that's good, and how do I know it is good? because I have seen it before, one way or another. And there are no way to watch two or more tv shows at the same time, doesn't matter how many TV/PIP you have. Some people have TiVo to record the shows, some have VCR, some do not have them at all.
Then there is also the possibility that some shows might not have DVDs at all, such as cancelled ones. Cancelled does not necessarily mean the show is bad, it just means that the rating might not have met what the stations were hopping, and/or the people with Nielsen box (if they exist) have no taste. There are too many good shows got cancelled due to the idiotic decisions from the network executives such as time slot, plot of the show...etc. Then there is also no garantee for shows that are not cancelled will be on DVD.
What they could do and should have done is do a low quality, such as real media movie, or mwv, upload on to their site, and see how many people watch/download those in a certain time to help determine the real life rating, also use that in determine whether they should produce the DVD for the show.
One way to make money for Movie industries is to have TALENTED PEOPLE!!! They pay millions to actor/actoress who do not know how to act, the only thing they had were face and/or bodies of "star" but no talent. Also, a few million dollar less in salary per movie/tv show per main actor/actoress also would not hurt either.