Video: LiveStation Demo Microsoft Research (MSFT) and a UK-based company called Skinkers are developing peer-to-peer software called LiveStation for streaming live television over PCs. Think of it as a Slingbox Without the Box. (See demo video above). Except that TV stations would have to sign up to stream their broadcasts over the service.
Using P2P networks is the most bandwidth efficient (and least costly) way to deliver video over the Internet. Joost, Babelgum, and Veoh also all use P2P distribution techniques in one form or another. But they all deliver videos that are already stored somewhere (their servers or the computers of their members), as opposed to live streams. I'm not sure how difficult it would be for any of these services to offer live streams as well. It doesn't seem like that big a deal.
Joost, for instance, is working on (or already has) the ability to synchronize the streaming of a particular show so that you and all of your friends can watch it at the same time while chatting over Joost. Making that a live stream should be easy enough.
The bigger question is: On the Internet, does live TV even matter any more? The TV schedule is a product of the historical limitations of broadcast television, where you have to broadcast the same shows to everyone at the same time. But those limitations are falling away. Even in cable and satellite TV, the growth of pay-per-view and on-demand channels proves that if you give consumers more choices, they will grab them. The Internet is the ultimate on-demand television system, where the choices of what to watch and when have no practical limits.
The concept of live TV almost makes no sense in that context. Why limit your audience only to those people who can tune in at a certain time? With a few exceptions, such as sports and breaking news, live TV will be a liability on the Web unless those streams are also stored for later viewing. On the Web, nobody wants to make an appointment to watch TV.