Starting Jan. 6, ABC will limit access to next-day episodes of its TV shows on its WATCH ABC platform to subscribers of participating cable operators and/or Hulu Plus.
In the past, missing out on your favorite ABC shows meant revamping your DVR schedule, watching it later onDemand or checking it out ABC.com for free. Going forward, next day episodes will only be available to subscribers Hulu Plus and the following TV service providers: AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent, and Verizon FiOS. At this time, no agreements are in place for DISH, DirecTV and Time Warner customers.
Both Hulu and ABC will continue to make episodes available to those without subscriptions, but they’ll be on an eight day delay. Though it will be a hassle for viewers, it’s a move that could prove beneficial for the network in the long-run, which hopes to replicate the model Fox implemented in 2011.
As more viewers turn to the internet for their TV viewing (cord-cutting), networks need to find a way to make up for the loss ad venue as a result of less eyeballs watching their ads. “Pay TV service providers are a key part of the television industry in delivering broadcast content through new technology platforms,” writes the network on its FAQ page. “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.
With the WATCH ABC platform, viewers can watch the ABC network live (in participating areas) or on demand on various devices like smartphones, tablets, and your computer. It puts access to the network right into your hands at home or on the go.