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ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers 169

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-piracy-with-ye dept.
jfruh writes "ABC shows are available for free to anybody with antenna on the day and time they're first broadcast. But if you want them at any other time, it's getting harder to see them unless you pay someone. The network had previously made free ad-supported streamed versions of its shows available on its website the day after they aired, but now they're shifting that back to a week. Next-day streaming is still available if you have a cable or Hulu Plus subscription, showing the extent to which "broadcast" networks are dependent on subscriber fees."
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ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers

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  • by michrech (468134) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:09PM (#45850661)

    I, personally, watch very little on the 'big four' networks, however this trend is a disturbing one -- especially for those of us in markets that aren't served by all the networks. My market has no NBC, so the only way for us to get their content is to wait for it on their web page, or to pay someone. We have no other legal choices...

    • I, personally, watch very little on the 'big four' networks, however this trend is a disturbing one -- especially for those of us in markets that aren't served by all the networks. My market has no NBC,

      I presume by "My market," you're talking about OTA broadcasts? Having only recently discovered the joys of watching Parks and Recreation, I feel for ya.

      • Re:Uggh... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:24PM (#45850793)

        I disagree with GP and P; this trend is very positive. The reason why networks have been fighting against streaming is because they didn't see a business case. If ABC is starting to see how it can make money online, then it benefits all of us who want to watch shows online and cut the cord. A watershed day is when HBO GO becomes available without a cable subscription.

        • Re:Uggh... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tamran (1424955) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:38PM (#45850947)

          A watershed day is when HBO GO becomes available without a cable subscription.

          Interesting indeed. I wonder if Netflix will become what HBO GO could have been sooner? They're starting to develop some stuff of their own and don't require cable at all.

          • Re:Uggh... (Score:5, Informative)

            by netsavior (627338) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:50PM (#45851099)
            Netflix [gizmodo.com]: "The Goal Is to Become HBO Faster Than HBO Can Become Us"
        • by quetwo (1203948)

          But they don't see a way to make money off the content online.... They are forcing us to subscribe to a cable service, or we will be punished and will have to wait the extra week to see that content..

          It's a play to get more money out of the re-trans fees they are getting from the cable companies. If they help get more cable subs, then they can demand more in retrans fees from the cable providers...

        • by meerling (1487879)
          This will increase piracy of those shows by a huge margin.
          This has been done before, and piracy rates tripled.
          The viewers don't want to have to wait a week for something that has already aired.
          As a dick move to increase the number of paying subscribers, I doubt it will have much effect. I'd bet it'll be less than 1%.

          Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the end results are.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          The reason why networks have been fighting against streaming is because they didn't see a business case.

          The reason they don't see a business case is that they're too stupid to qualify as sentient. You want a business case, here's one in only nine words: When people miss an episode, they don't stop watching.

          The main reason that people stop watching a TV show is that they miss watching a show for some reason and/or miss TiVo-ing an episode and don't discover it until after the rerun (which is only a couple o

    • by macraig (621737)

      We have no other legal choices...

      I saw what you did there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:11PM (#45850673)

    The biggest commonality of cable cutters (including me) I know is that they don't watch or care about "live" TV. The difference between a day and a week is nothing to them. DVRs changed a lot of peoples watching habits and these people aren't paying the premium anymore.

    Look at Redbox, does a 90 day DVD release delay help sales? Not likely, you just shift what I watch 90 days in the future.

    • by Shados (741919) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:24PM (#45850791)

      Cable cutters also often care about different things. Obviously Neflix and Hulu, Amazon, etc are the big boys and contain mostly stuff that came from theaters or normal TV channels, but if you look at, let say, the roku channels, there's a TON of content that is simply not available on normal TV...

      I didn't cancel cable to save money. I did it because while I watch a -LOT- of TV, there's only one show I ever watch that I could watch on cable, among the dozens that I follow.

    • by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:37PM (#45850937) Journal
      This. Been a cable cutter since before it was cool. Without the constant bombardment of "omg look new episode look look LOOK!!" you don't care when it comes out. Days, weeks, months, they mean nothing. Same goes for movies. Now I usually wait until the entire season is done before getting episodes, because its just easier to get everything at once then one episode at a time. While I'm waiting for a season to finish I usually find something good on Netflix. Netflix gets me so they get my money. Why pay money to some network that makes one or two good shows when I can pay Netflix and they give me thousands of shows and movies?
      • Why pay money to some network that makes one or two good shows when I can pay Netflix and they give me thousands of shows and movies?

        That you can watch at home, on the go, on all of your devices. For less than $10/month.

      • I second that. The point is, "Why pay more for entertainment just because it's new to everyone?" Because as long as it's new to me, it's new to me. I cut cable about 9 years ago. I was getting by simply by downloading documentaries, and a buying kid's movies on DVD. Then I got a PS3, just to watch movies on my TV, that I had on my server. Then I got Netflix. By that time, all of the series that they had were new to me, it was like hog-heaven.

        I remember back in the late 80's - early 90's thinking h
    • hmmm...you make a great point. But the change in viewing habits that you refer to has to be countered because it is eating into broadcast TV's primary revenue stream. The national broadcast companies can sit back and watch their profits get time- and/or format-shifted to oblivion, or they can do something about it. The writing is on the wall -- it seems pretty clear that people would rather pay a subscription to avoid commercials. As long as consumers can control how the content is presented to them at
      • by Richy_T (111409)

        The thing is, commercials are a terrible value proposition for consumers. For the pennies or, perhaps, fraction of a penny that the entertainment provider receives from the advertiser per viewer per hour, the viewer has to put up with around 18 minutes of wasted time per hour of annoying, repetitive, irrelevant content. I don't know how you value your time but I value mine at more than a nickel per hour so of course viewers will buck against this where possible. A new business model is in order and those th

      • That was kind of how HBO started out.
    • by Mandrel (765308)

      The biggest commonality of cable cutters (including me) I know is that they don't watch or care about "live" TV.

      I'm not sure this is true in the larger (more social) community. Many get much of their enjoyment from a show by talking and writing about it afterward (something I suspect is also true of sex). So unless friends synchronize delayed viewing, and participation in online discussion isn't important, this drives viewing close to release dates, which this move by ABC aims to better monetize.

      But yes, if you can do without timely talking and writing, you can save a lot on AV entertainment.

      • That still happens but it isn't right after the show aired. The trick is to have friends who aren't dicks and reveal the ending but can offer good recommendations. As an added bonus TV isn't a driving factor in what any of us do. This weekend is going to be prime TV watching for my family since it is going to be so damn cold out and there aren't that many projects that need doing.
  • by Tamran (1424955) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:22PM (#45850763)

    ... will ensure they don't buy anything. Similarly, making it hard for people to watch will ensure they don't. If they do want to watch, more will look for torrents (amongst other things) than go back to the stone age days (before PVR's, etc). People nowadays will not bother being inconvenienced unless you have awesome stuff - although it's not my cup of tea, Apple is an example of where people will stand in line for hours and be inconvenienced.

    I wouldn't say ABC shows are worth putting off tennis practice (or whatever hobby you have) for. This will not end well.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      People nowadays will not bother being inconvenienced unless you have awesome stuff

      Extraordinarily true but... I think you're speaking of torrents, which are such an incredible pain in the ass. you need to find the right torrent, and there's often different options of differing quality and integrity but you don't know. then it takes an unknown amount of time to download, depending on seeds or whatever. it takes up how many gigs of hard drive space. then you watch it on your laptop, or futz to get it to the tv. then the episode turns out to suck anyway!

      I'm behind on my tv, so waiting anoth

      • by Tamran (1424955)

        I'm behind on my tv, so waiting another week for something is no big deal at all.

        I think the issue is that the networks don't seem to want you to wait a week unless you pay them. My point above is really that they should focus on getting the eyes on the product rather than billing each and ever viewer that doesn't watch when they decide you should.

        Google figured this out ... we're all customers, but none of us pay them directly. That's how they can make money. If Google charged me a subscription to do web searches, they'd have died a decade ago.

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          I think the issue is that the networks don't seem to want you to wait a week unless you pay them. My point above is really that they should focus on getting the eyes on the product rather than billing each and ever viewer that doesn't watch when they decide you should.

          Why should they focus on this? Obv they tried the business model of ad-supported streaming, and decided they didn't like it. Now they're trying to payfence approach (not a paywall - pay for better access, but still available otherwise). I don't begrudge ABC wanting to make money, nor do I begrudge them trying different business model. In fact i want them to find a model where they make money online, so they continue to invest resources and make content available.

          Google figured this out ... we're all customers, but none of us pay them directly. That's how they can make money. If Google charged me a subscription to do web searches, they'd have died a decade ago.

          No, we're all the product not the customers.

        • by bws111 (1216812)

          Maybe you should call and explain to them exactly how 'getting eyes on the product' leads to revenue, and more importantly, more revenue than they make by billing for views.

          You manage to make it sound like Google (queue heavenly sounds) invented the ad supported business. ABC was an ad-supported business for decades before Google ever existed. What you fail to realize is that people don't want ads interrupting their TV viewing. The only real choices are: even more intrusive ads (overlays, etc), or get pa

    • by Matheus (586080)

      Personal example:

      I download a lot of TV (not having any workable TV reception at home broadcast isn't an option). There are a large number of shows that I used to watch via Hulu/etc and sat through the ads because hey... they gotta get paid somehow! BUT every time they add another restriction (sorry you can't watch this until tomorrow / next week / no more (only past 5-6 episodes) / ever, I switch to more reliable and ad free sources .

      They were making some amount of money off of me, now they are not becau

      • It is smart business to charge more for earlier access to entertainment. If there are those who MUST have their fix immediately, make sure they pay an arm and leg for it. In terms of Internet streaming (or download) this means pushing the addicts towards iTunes and/or Amazon. (By the way, your justification for piracy amounts to nothing more than gross self-entitlement.)
    • People nowadays will not bother being inconvenienced unless you have awesome stuff

      I take it you don't spend a lot of time in airports?

      • by praxis (19962)

        I think taking several hours to travel somewhere is pretty awesome stuff compared to a week of driving or many many months of walking. That's why I put up with the inconvenience of the airport.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:22PM (#45850767)

    This is move is going to lose me as a viewer, not push me to subscribe to cable.

    I have netflix. I get TV over the air. This sort of access was the only way for me to watch current shows other than at their prescribe transmission time. Other networks have made it "enter your cable bill number" to access this content as well.
    I guess they don't want me, and those like me, to watch their shows at all.

    I am certainly not going to subscribe to overpriced pile of crap that is basic cable. I grant you can get some good stuff by going specialty cable, but that is even more $$ on top of basic. I am almost never home at the right time to watch it "live" over the air. So count me and countless others like me off the viewship list. This is move is going to lose me as a viewer, not push me to subscribe to cable.

    Bu-bye.

    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      You clearly have a computer capable of playing video. Why don't you just get a cheap ATSC tuner to record your shows when you're not there? Here's one for $25 at NewEgg. [newegg.com]

      • Because it requires having a desktop computer that runs all the damn time. I've converted over to laptops and don't bother with towers anymore.

        • by dbitter1 (411864)

          Have you seen https://www.simple.tv/ [simple.tv] ? Not free, yes, but breaks the bonds of Tivo, and a great start to commercializing the concept of a custom DVR. Easy enough for my mom to understand.

          (And I have no ownership interest in the company nor do I get any commissions from saying this. Just want to help nail the lid on cable TV)

    • I have netflix. I get TV over the air. This sort of access was the only way for me to watch current shows other than at their prescribe transmission time.

      I'm probably not the only one who doesn't understand this - perhaps you could explain?

      If you can watch it a week later, why does this matter at all? Their move presumes some people are willing to pay for faster access - why would they do that?

      And if you're willing to watch shows on Netflix a year later, why not on abc.com a week later? Is the calculus th

  • Less ads please (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scowler (667000) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:22PM (#45850773)
    Waiting a week / month / year is fine. I accept the business model at play here... Milk the wallets of those who can't resist instant gratification, and find some nominal revenues from everyone else. It's just... I hate the ad interruptions. I'd gladly pay for Hulu Plus... if there were no ads!
    • by rijrunner (263757)

      I usually stack the shows, then binge-watch. Much easier to track serials this way.

    • It is confusing. On the one hand we have the networks, complaining (if you follow the summaries logic) about not being able to turn a profit with ads. On the other, you have Hulu complaining about not being able to turn a profit with subscriptions.

  • Many of my friends are between 6 months and 2 *years* behind current broadcast schedules.

    I watch very little network television (POI & Elementary).

  • Really, not joking here.. So you lose the ability to time-shfit for free, not the content. Just more of the 'me me me' crowd whining.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:32PM (#45850869)

    As an added bonus all the ads will be stripped off. Sorry ABC, you blew your opportunity to make money off my eyeballs.

  • Oh well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:33PM (#45850873) Homepage Journal

    If only there were a way to get my favourite TV shows soon after being broadcast, preferably in high-definition and without commercials, so I could watch from the comfort of my couch at my leisure.
    • For an avid TV fan, the cost of an Apple TV plus buying seasons on iTunes isn't too terrible. Or Roku/Chromecast/Apple TV plus Amazon.
  • Content creators and providers want to get paid. If their fees seem too high or their contract terms too onerous don't view the content. I'm sick of people whining about it. As wonderful the concept is you don't have a free right to the creative effort of others.
  • by netsavior (627338) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:45PM (#45851035)
    Time shifting is no longer the "killer feature," time shifting IS television. This is the equivalent of a TV station in the 1950s saying "we will no longer be offering moving pictures with our radio programs."

    I have not watched TV on a network schedule for a decade, and my children don't even have the concept of a "TV Schedule".

    Fighting consumer demand is difficult, fighting consumer default expectations is suicide; especially in Entertainment media, where the whole world can turn on a dime, except you.
  • by rueger (210566) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:48PM (#45851059) Homepage
    Seriously. $75 to $100 a month for cable? Haven't done that for years. $8.95 a month for Netflix, plus a bit of Pirate Bay to top up the offerings. You tell me what makes more sense.

    Although honestly I'd be happy to pay say $25-30 a month for some hybrid of the two - at least for news channels.

    Of course the downside of not watching cable or network TV is that you really appreciate how horrible advertising is. Easily the most painful part of going out to a movie.
  • I get most of my TV over the air, meaning that I mainly watch the networks. But occasionally life takes priority over TV watching and I end up watching a show that I missed on-line. But almost all (or maybe all) of the shows that I watch have running story lines spanning the episodes. I've missed an episode in the past and when I found that I couldn't watch an episode on-line before the next episode aired (or even couldn't watch it at all), I've just decides "screw it" and quit watching the show. What does
    • Does broadcast TV still carry serials like "Lostâoe these days? I thought all serials had entirely gone over to paid Cable (and now also Netflix exclusives). Isn't broadcast stuff entirely reality TV, sitcoms, episodics like NCIS, etc? Why is watching that stuff out of order a problem? And also, why don't you use DVR?
      • Many network shows are indeed serials (CBS's Hostages, ABC's Scandal or NBC's Blacklist or Revolution, for example), but many other are self contained main stories but still have on-going back stories that develop over time even though each episode usually wraps up the main story line. In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of anything that I watch other than PBS science shows and The Simpsons that don't have some running background stories that are impacted by watching out of order.

        As to why I don't use a DV

      • by Algae_94 (2017070)
        I think frovingslosh adequately answered your questions, but don't forget that broadcast TV has daytime programming. I don't watch soaps, but last I remember "Days of Our Lives", "General Hospital", etc. are definitely serials.
        • Once upon a time, my girlfriend (now wife) was hooked on Days of Our Lives. I remember, you sort of had to watch the Friday episodes in order to know what was going on, but the Monday-through-Thursday episodes could be watched in any order, or not at all for that matter. :)
      • It turns out lost was stupid. All that build up and then no payoff. They just took an idea they were asked about in an interview during season two, which they categorically denied (because it was stupid) and said, "I got nothin' let's just do that thing we said it wasn't"

        That's a common trait in storytelling in many mediums, but the lost writers take the cake in terms of inability to write acts II and II after making a ton of promises in act I. I make it a point to avoid anything billed as "from the mak

        • JJ Abrams controls both Star Trek and Star Wars franchises now, so you have a lot of avoiding to do... As far as Lost goes, just pretend that the show ended when Jack and others got off the island the first time, and that the rest of the show never happened. Or, better yet, just pretend only the first two seasons happened, and that they were all killed by the Others shortly after that.
  • We need a VCR equivalent. Been looking for one for a while.
    For all you young people, a VCR - Video Cassette Recorder - let us record live TV - unencrypted - onto tapes. I'm only half kidding about the education here.
    We need a simple box that records OTA in 1080P onto a hard drive or USB stick. There are several out there, of various flavors. The key for searching for such is "converter box" with recording capabilities.
    A PC with media software is not sufficient. We need a simple solution.

    This might be a cont

    • by Bodhammer (559311)
      See the Tivo Roamio (basic model). 4 tuners and a 500GB drive. Best Buy has been selling them for $199 with a $50 gift card and then you can price match to Amazon's $149 price. You can put a a 3TB drive in there for $130 more giving about 470 hours of HD. I just cut the cord from Comcast and went DSL, saving us about $125/month.
      • by antdude (79039)

        One thing:Subscription is required or too expensive to buy for lifetime. Also, it requires to phone home.

    • Sorry - Can you clarify for me why, in this scenario, a cheap laptop with a USB TV tuner isn't a simple solution? e.g.

      http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1950.html [hauppauge.com]

      Hook the laptop up to your TV, add a remote and you're off to the races, for hundreds of dollars less than a VCR cost back in the day...
    • by antdude (79039)

      My uncle, others, and I have a DTV Pal DVR before Dish/Echostar dropped this OTA DVR. It doesn't require subscriptions too. It's great!! I would get another one if mine died, but CM seems to have taken over. I'd prefer computers though since I can copy, edit, etc. my recordings. Hardware DVRs can't.

  • by fred911 (83970) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:08PM (#45851325)

    Clicking an addon on XBMC, joining a public swarm 15 minutes after airtime or googling it to find which file locker to stream or download it? How stupid for them to cut another revenue stream.

  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:24PM (#45851521)
    If ABC wants me to watch their junk they'll have to pay ME. My eyeballs are not free.
  • ... of how little I really need to watch ABC programming. Let corporate fuck up a few more times and perhaps they will be replaced.

    ABC corporate screwed over our local affiliate years ago. There were a few personality conflicts with popular local personalities that they needed to win. They did. Talented and well liked people moved on and the station's ratings went into the toilet and stayed there.

  • Curious if I'm the only one who has noticed this. The shows I record OTA often have flaky reception as I don't have a direct line of sight to the towers.

    Funny thing is, the commercials never skip or drop out but the shows themselves do. I'm thinking, that doesn't make sense as the video would all come out with the same signal strength regardless of the source.

    It's probably just my imagination but... these days is there anything they WON'T do to screw customers? I refuse to pay Comcast a monthly fee to u

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      I think I've seen similar issues. I generally have no reception problems, but on occasion, a channel will have flake reception, but the commercials all seem fine. I don't have any data recorded to back this claim. It is just something I've noticed. Perhaps the commercials are broadcast in a way to be less susceptible to signal loss?
      • by CODiNE (27417)

        If it's not our imaginations it would mean the signal power is raised or lowered depending on content. I don't have the tools to verify that nor the time to build up statistics on signal loss. It's quite a claim so would need more people to notice before it's substantial.

  • I'm in Canada. I've not had cable television since 2005, about the time some series I was watching ended. Didn't think the vast wasteland was worth the expense for a tiny number of good shows.

    Being in Canada, I've become endured to many Internet videos that are television clips being blocked here on American websites, due to someone else holding the rights to broadcast that content in Canada. For some, I tracked down the Canada rights holder to watch (eg. The Comedy Network for a lot of comedy stuff) but

  • You can figure out the reason for doing this if you read between the lines:

    ...you'll no longer be able to stream ...unless you subscribe to a participating cable service, or are a Hulu Plus subscriber....Worse, the list of participating cable services isn't comprehensive. Right now it includes AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent, and Verizon FiOS. At the least, those of us stuck on Time Warner Cable are out of luck. DirectTV and Dish subscribers are also left out in the cold. Maybe your provider isn't included either, and if you live in a city and get your TV OTA you're definitely not covered.

    They probably have a contract with all the cable & streaming providers saying that they won't compete with them by offering their shows directly. They might even have agreements with advertisers that forbid the advertisers from showing their ads on competing networks. Could there even be a cartel behind this? Perhaps some of the cable TV companies have banded together and agreed to prevent streaming services from coming onlin

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