ABC Online TV Shows to Require Pay TV Subscriptions
Are you a cord-cutter, or someone who's never had cable TV? Do you watch "Agents of Shield" or "Once Upon A Time" online? Well, ABC is now going to make you a wait a little longer to watch those shows.
ABC, a subsidiary of Disney, announced this week that starting Jan. 6, viewers who want to watch the latest episode of its television shows will need to be subscribers to a pay TV service, and will have to sign in to gain access to the shows.
After one week, episodes will no longer require a subscription to be viewed. This subscriber wall will be present at both the ABC website and on Hulu.
ABC's pay TV partners in enforcing the subscriber wall are AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS.
Interestingly enough, there aren't any satellite TV providers on the list. Nor is Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 cable TV provider. Subscribers to those services will have to wait the extra week along with the cord-cutters. (ABC has stated it is working to get more pay TV providers involved.)
ABC's FAQ page has a few suggestions for those who will be losing immediate viewing access:
1. "Check your TV provider's video on-demand offering. Most offer next-day viewing.
2. You can access episodes on WATCHABC.com and the app a week after they air.
3. New episodes are also available with a subscription to Hulu Plus, or for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video."
Why limit access to new episodes? The ABC website states only, "Pay TV service providers are a key part of the television industry in delivering broadcast content through new technology platforms. Now, with the support of participating pay TV service providers, the ABC network is able to continue to bring live entertainment, news and sports programming on a national and local level as well as the latest on-demand episodes on new, emerging digital platforms at no additional cost to their subscribers. This approach also allows ABC to offer several on-demand episodes that are available to everyone."