So what is episodic? It's divided into parts/occasional/unpredictable/impermanent/temporary... It doesn't have to repeat. And the patent says: "...one or more episodes..."
The guys didn't develop anything, just wrote a concept on a form and submitted it. And probably heard the concept being bandied around in the newsgroups and decided to squat.
And by this patent, any company or person that provides reports or other data to it's customers, and asks them to collect is covered.....
So effectively the US patent office has not only given these guys a patent in podcasting, but also telephone directory distibution, magazine distribution (e.g. ad on tv, go to you newsagent to collect), bank reports, estate agent reports, vehicle delivery..... You name it, anything where the originator gets you to collect and the channel could be described as dedicated.
Even doctor's reports.... You know - Phone rings, you answer & hear , "Hello it's Doctor Xs surgery here. Please call in to collect your test results......."
And what about windows update - or any other remote, automatic updating system.
Hang on, wouldn't el reg count as episodic data... and isn't it's web site dedicated to epsidoci data.... And isn't the notification by changes to the home page - and we collect by clicking on the link - which is, of course, dedicated to delivery of the episode.....
So that makes the internet prior art.... among all the other examples I've quoted.
This is the most stunning example yet of the sheer incompetence and stupidity of the US patent system.