ABC Limits Next-Day Availability of Full Episodes

RevengeABC — which to date among broadcast networks has offered perhaps the most regular and wide availability of full episodes via streaming — is set to enact some limitations.

The network announced on its Watch ABC portal that starting Monday, Jan. 6, only those who can verify their cable subscription* — or those who use the Hulu Plus premium service — will be able to access full episodes the following day.

Those aiming to play morning-after catch-up without a valid cable service log-in or via Hulu’s free service will need to wait eight days after broadcast before new episodes become available for streaming.

Next-day downloads as always will be available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. On-demand viewings are also still an option, but again — cable.

How does this new wrinkle affect your TV consumption habits?

* Providers include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS — but not DISH, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mark says:

    I love how terrified television networks are of the internet almost as much as I love how much people on the internet hate paying for content they feel entitled to.

    • Lambsilencer says:

      Well, statistics might have shown that the all-too-soon availability of their shows online might prevent some viewers from watching live. And since live watching (or DVR) is the only way ratings are affected, ABC might want to see if more people go back to live watching if the shows are not available so soon after airing for free. From a business standpoint, it certainly makes sense to try.
      However, eight days might be a bit too long, because it will prevent viewers from watching the next episode if they haven’t been able to stream the previous one yet. But maybe they’ll DVR it, which, for ABC’s ratings, is still better than if they watch it online.

      • gia says:

        If the bottom line is ratings then why the verification of cable subscription? Anyone who subscribes to a cable service will still be able to watch next day but thethose not using cable are punished. This seems more like ABC working with cable companies to increase cable subscriptions w ith certain companies.

        • jj says:

          Precisely this! I will never subscribe to cable. Totally not worth it considering the shows on TV these days. For the few shows that I like (not love), I will watch it live if I am free. If not, I will catch it online later. If it becomes difficult to stay current, I just won’t bother with the show anymore. It certainly won’t make me want to subscribe to cable or Hulu Plus. For the one show that I love, I already buy the season pass on iTunes even though I watch it live.

          • Debby says:

            When I was a kid back then in them there olden days, after walking 70 miles back and forth to school without shoes, therefore missing watching a favorite program live, I’d go for the primitive option …. VCR. ABC and other networks, ironically, are free if one has an antenna. So charging for them like this I feel is extortion. I will use a vcr if I have to miss it, because I gave up letting the cable companies rob me blind a while ago.

          • Cathi says:

            I agree! There is no cable offered where I live and the satellite companies cannot guarantee me a signal, so why would I pay them? I would just stream the few shows I liked. I have been without TV for 2 yrs now. I’m certainly not going to pay hulu to watch the couple I would like to watch. I miss my sports, but I go out to a bar and grill to catch the important games. They will lose even more business this way.

          • Kathie says:

            I have Hulu Plus and can’t find General Hospital (which I have watched for over 40 years). ABC you stink!

          • SuMac says:

            I haven’t been cables robbed in over two years. I can certainly find other more beneficial ways to spend my time if ABC and the cable companies want me too. I enjoyed using the recorded episodes just to catch up and relax at times…but I can write, read and exercise which is better for me anyway. Thanks ABC. I think you enriched my life while trying to please cable companies!!

          • Molly says:

            This is exactly what happened with me and some of the shows on Fox, who has a similar policy. I loved House, but once I got behind it was impossible to catch up. I recently stopped watching another one of their shows for the same reason. As for ABC, I think my favorite show, Castle, will probably make the cut, but I’m not going to be able to stay current with the other shows I watch less religiously.

          • Agie says:

            Completely agree! Goodbye abc just removed the abc app since i wont need it anymore

          • I feel the same: I refuse to pay the Channel hords. I have Neflix, and for $20 you can buy an antenna which gives you the basic channels, including ABC: No monthly fee at all. :)

          • Kim Hoi says:

            Couldn’t have said it better! I, too, will watch live when I’m free and if not, catch up online. I will never buy cable or hulu or the others either. This will backfire on abc. If you can’t catchup I won’t be watching anymore either.ABC will lose viewers. They might want to rethink this.

        • Lambsilencer says:

          Interesting point! Yes, that might be it, or maybe even an “evil” combo of both your theory and mine.

        • Nero theTVFiddler says:

          Gia – you nailed it. That’s the key point others are missing – this has got little (or nothing) to do with ABC – this is about the cable companies pushing this decision. ABC has a new mobile app coming out, and the cable companies don’t want to get ‘by-passed’ for content distribution by the cell phone companies. So, the cable companies want some form of ‘exclusive’ right to having their subscribers get ‘early’ access to the content. Hence, the need to ‘log on’ via cable subscription access. Pathetic.

          All the while, cable company subscribers (and we know, we get calls all day long from irate cable customers asking us for an OTT [any OTT] streaming model implementation so that customers can cut the cord and dump their cable companies) are dumping their subscription services as fast as they can.

          The future of cable companies is in providing ISP-Internet services – pipes. That’s all. The glory days of being ‘content gateways’, those days are coming to an end for the cable industry. That’s why Comcast bought NBC-U … they know that is the only chance they have to play with the ‘big boys’ in content creation, and not be relegated to ‘pipe layers.’ The ‘tar pits’ await this broken industry. They know it – they just want to ensure you don’t.

          • Thank GAWD for the Net: FINALLY we, the people, can truly get around these GREED mongers!
            I was in a cult for 30 y e a r s. The Net helped me WTFU, escape out (Yeah: $cientology) in July of 2000! Ah…so great! I never even watched TV while in the Cult. LOL

        • Christine says:

          You are not kidding. Is this the way you treat long time watchers? Yep, it’s all about money. Those of us that can’t afford cable can just forget.Well, lets see what happens to the ratings. I’d hate to see another great soap go away because of greed. I love the cast and it is my down time after a stressful day. Now they added to my stress. Guess I will have to find another outlet. I will sure be in morning for a while. Thanks for nothing ABC !

        • Lisa says:

          Subscribing to Cable isn’t worth it. ABC will lose viewers like me because of this stupidly, and aiding in the greed of those companies. Very disappointed. On to the next thing!

        • Yla says:

          I agree,,,, plus it sounds so ridiculous if I miss the begining of the show or the full episode, I can’t catch up until a full week later? ABC is a free channel so why should I wait another week for and episode I was already waiting a full week for? And there are so many spoilers out there ( even in previews of next episode) that it will ruin all the thrill of waiting to see it!!!!!!!! …..also what if people work that time of the day or night , which most people that have job do,! ABC is just being cruel to them!

        • Jamie Adair says:

          I don’t think they have thought that far ahead. I have Time Warner and you can’t get the programs because Time Warner is’nt on the list.

      • Tina B. says:

        The thing that is annoying is DVR doesn’t count for full ratings only half, according to Nielson. They need to get with the times. I am a full-time student, if I sat and watched all my shows live, I would fail my degree and that’s not an option, lol

        • Unless you watch the commercials, it’s worthless… That’s what pays the bills. If you do watch with the commercials within 3 days, they count it.

          • JA says:

            Who watches the commercials if they’re watching it DVR’d? The only time I do that is when I’m working in the kitchen or something while I’m watching and can’t reach the remote. :)

            I just hope they don’t go to TV that doesn’t let you fast forward anymore, like those annoying previews on Netflix DVDs or on HuluPlus when you have to watch their commercials. They’re not that long, but they’re really obnoxious.

      • Stephanie says:

        you still can’t watch it online after 8 days with out having one of the cable subscribers that is on their list

      • stacie says:

        actually, viewers are counted when they watch the show on on demand, so they know how many are viewiing. it’s stupid

    • Marc says:

      Let’s see. We sit through ads when we watch on the internet and, like on demand and unlike DVRs, we cannot fast forward through them. The network is already making money off of our viewership. If they think this is going to drive up live viewing, they are wrong. It is just going to further undermine their ad sales by pushing the episodes out of same day plus 24 or same day plus 7 viewing when the rates are probably lower.

    • I’m actually quite fond of paying for my episodes and I watch exclusively online. Stability and consistency are worth it to me. Networks should embrace the internet crowd who has started cutting the cable to switch to Hulu Plus or Amazon to purchase their content. I think if they dropped the price to .99 for their 40 minute programs and .49 for their 20 minute programs, they’d sell a lot more of their shows. They should toy around with their pricing model some to find the sweet spot. The quality on Amazon and Hulu is much better than illegal streams I’ve seen and the interface on devices like the PS3 is very nice. Plus, no worries for accidentally downloading spyware or the like.

      I also think this would help some of those shows that have strong fan bases that advertisers aren’t interested in selling to (older audiences for instance). If those people supported the shows directly with their wallets, they might survive in the otherwise cutthroat atmosphere of network television.

      Finally, direct purchases are so much more accurate at predicting your audience than whatever the hell Nielson is doing.

      • Lisa says:

        You are correct in that direct sales to viewers is better at predicting your audience (the consumer), but it’s not necessarily because of what Neilson is doing. It’s because of the ad model that television is stuck with at the moment. Right now, television producers are catering to the people that buy the ads, which are not the same people that consume their product. It is an extremely screwed-up model that is unlike most regular consumption of goods and services (where the client and consumer are the same). When you pay a contractor to renovate your home, you are both the person that the contractor caters to and the consumer of the final product. Therefore, you get what you want (if all goes well, that is). In television, that is not the case–networks ultimately care more about what the ad-buyers want rather than the viewers.
        The Neilson system plays a tangential role in the problem; they provide a model of what types of viewers are watching the show (admittedly, a very flawed system, too). The television networks determine whether to keep a show on the air, not only based on how many viewers there are (what Neilson is increasingly unable to account for accurately), but the demographic of viewers. The television producers (the ones that create the programming) are given these results and often times change their show to try and target the preferred demographic because the businesses that buy the ads only want certain types of people to watch their ads. This, in turn, results in the tendency for programming to be changed based on who businesses want to view their ads, not based on what viewers actually want to watch. Older-skewing shows are dropped even if their total viewership is decent. Television is a business without a true supply and demand.
        While the public will always have the right (by law) to free access to informative programming on freely-broadcast channels (basically, just the news and the rules requiring a certain amount of educational programming for children on broadcast networks), there’s no reason entertainment programming needs to be free anymore. A complete “pay” television/download/on demand system would actually produce better content because subscribers would be direct client and consumer. Think Netflix and Amazon original programming (not Hulu — they still have the ads). I don’t expect a complete switch to this type of programming to happen any time soon, if only because people believe they have a “right” to free entertainment by means of television. And there will be cries of those who can’t afford to watch the amount of programming they would like (if you can afford cable, you can afford a Netflix or Amazon-type subscription service and, like I mentioned, we never actually had the right to free entertainment programming in the first place). In the end, ad-based television is antiquated, unsustainable in the long run, and is responsible for a lot of the bad we see on television.

        • GingerSnap says:

          Honestly, the networks will work out a system for generating revenue. Whether it’s a cable based service or through the internet – or whatever innovation that technology brings us next, the entertainment industry will evolve. And that’s a good thing. Because some shows may not appeal to the masses but be quite lucrative to a specialty market willing to pay for the show. Kind of like paying to see a Broadway show on National Tour. A ticket can run $200, but there’s a market for that type of entertainment. You don’t have to sell as many tickets to have a financially successful product.
          Reality is that the networks are keeping track of the numbers. They are getting far more accurate counts from the Internet than Nielson could ever provide. Because they can track the number of hits a website generates. So they will be able to sell ads, but also be able to target their audience with precision. You can get DirecTV with over 200 channels, but how many of those channels provide meaningful content for you?

    • Actually I think in regards to ABC this has a lot more to do with the fact that they leverage their ABC Transmission Fee with what the Cable companies pay for ESPN , I think it was a compromise that allows the Cable companies to get an edge vs cord cutters , but at the same time allowed ABC / Disney to raise their ESPN fee where they make most of their money.


      Yes, I know all-caps are annoying, and I apologize. The choice was made to demonstrate the strength of my feelings on the issue.

      • Nero theTVFiddler says:

        Content is king – the television networks should be in the driver’s seat. However, the key component here is the delivery method – how can network content (broadcast) be delivered to the end user, either [1] at home (via TV, PC, tablet, etc.) and/or fixed location, or [2] on the move, via cell plan/LTE phone/tablet, etc.

        The answer is either a) over the air/HDTV antenna, b) subscription cable/satellite service, c) Internet based – Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, OTT [roku, apple TV, Google Chromecast, etc]. A fourth way is coming fast – over cell/LTE – that’s the path ABC and their new ‘WATCH App’ are trying to take, and the cable companies are trying to not lose ground in this cell/LTE positioning by Verizon, AT&T, etc. Four basic ways the networks have to reach consumers. Cable/Satellite is the largest portion, and that’s why they have so much clout.

        How to change that paradigm? That’s what we and other small startup companies are trying to figure out, and quickly. We have a guy on our team who used to work for a startup called Sezmi, which wanted to provide the content companies with wireless access to their subscribers, effectively bypassing the cable/satellite companies completely (similar in a way to what Verizon/AT&T are now trying to do with cell/4G-LTE network access.)

        The problem Sezmi ran into? The content companies were afraid to go with a small, new startup idea – they didn’t want to alienate their main partners, the cable/satellite providers. This move away from cable/satellite is an ‘all-or-nothing’ proposition – once the content industry challenges the cable/satellite distribution model, there’s no turning back. Hence, whomever takes this on will have to be large enough to finish the job. Sezmi wasn’t, perhaps our current startup isn’t either. But Verizon and/or AT&T may be. However, if they start taking over, it will just be moving from one mess to another mess. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    • Ryan says:

      Already paid for it. Twice, actually, since I’m paying for Cable (TV) and Cable (Internet).

      The problem is that content distributors don’t seem to think there’s such a thing as Paid-in-full. But there is, and they absolutely will, eventually, move to a complete on-demand model (allowing their customers to watch whatever they want, whenever they want) – after they whine and moan and wring their hands about who moved their cheese – because they have no other choice, it’s what their customers want.

      Your customers want red sweaters – guess what, you’ll sell red sweaters or nothing at all.

      Your call.

    • liz says:

      that’s actually not true. their are people who pay for hulu who are now also blocked from the content. it makes it pointless to have a hulu subscription if you mostly watch abc shows on hulu.

    • shishi says:

      Entitled to??? We are forced to watch the commercials and that’s not free – in fact it’s the business model that TV started with, and survived on, until the mid-eighties. I skip all the commercials on my TIVO so where’s the win?

    • smile says:

      They have at least 4 commercial breaks with each showing 1 to 5 commercials which pay for the programming. Too bad I will be missing these as I fast forward my vcr tape. I stopped watching fox altogether because of this. ABC is next.

    • Citygirl1505 says:

      ABC is not a cable channel if you have an antenna you can watch their programming live. If you are streaming the show the viewer is watching the commercials which are supposed to pay for the service. Why must we also pay the cable companies huge amounts of money for programming which mostly sucks and isn’t scalable ( we can choose what channels we want). I think there is something else in play here. The networks and cable companies would have to pay billions in updates to 4K so they are forming some kind of alliance to block out consumers like myself who pay for netflix, amazon, and/ or hulu I.e. Host renaming viewers.

    • Daniel says:

      DANGEROUS GAME TO LOSE! TV is optional in this busy world, not a necessity. .And with all the mega choices to choose from when when one has time for entertainment options this will be the first insult to steer them elsewhere. No wishing you good luck ABC on this over monetizing of air time with all the increased commercial time within programs sucking up our valuable limited minutes allotted each lifetime. I like many others wish you fail miserably and pay the heavy price for greed over service and acquit return on investment.

    • sandy allen says:

      I have dish & abc doesn’t accept them on their app. My only problem is we get power outages due to storms a few times a year & it always happens during a program. I recently paid 2$ to watch modern family. That’s outrageous!! If I miss an hbo show, its repeated 20 times a week or dish app let’s me watch whenever, including hbo movies. That’s a lot. All abc offers me is a couple shows. Most of abc, CBS, fox, NBC is awful, but I like some here or there. Also having your show not air due to unimportant news or sports is annoying especially since I DVR & the news they interrupted for is not new! AMC, bbc… all repeat their shows! That’s my problem, I pay a lot & expect to see what I miss due to storms for free. Ads fine.

  2. eviloverlore says:

    Oh, no, you mean we’ll have to download episodes from the gettin’ place mere hours after they air? The horror. :P

  3. Priyam says:

    I love Victoria’s picture with the write-up!

  4. Cassie says:

    Does anyone know a reason (other than greed/ego)why time warner is excluded?

    • the danger says:

      because it is the worst cable service to ever exist

    • Jerri says:

      ABC lost a bet? They were high when they made that decision?

    • soundscene says:

      ABC probably just never reached an agreement with Time Warner, Dish, DirecTV, etc, that would allow them to participate. Time Warner has their own TV on the go type app that basically allows you to watch all your cable channels from your mobile devices. Dish has a relationship with Slingbox that basically lets you do the same. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with not reaching an agreement with ABC, but it might.

    • Jamie Adair says:

      Good question. I just asked that myself.

  5. Jen says:

    Lame move ABC.

  6. Lucy says:

    Sometimes, at least in the past, CBS shows have been up on thier website at 1AM est. I think that’s the earliest out of any of the networks, yet they still get some of the higest ratings. ABC is just headed for more piracy.

    • anakinjmt says:

      Yeah but CBS has the highest ratings anyway so it doesn’t matter. But ABC doesn’t so they’re trying to increase ratings. But yeah 8 days is too long. The day of or before a new episode airs I think would work better to increase ratings for the next new episode. I also wish they’d put full past seasons of shows on Hulu Plus or Netflix because that would help ratings from new people. I know I’d watch Castke if I could catch up.

    • Kathie says:

      Looks like I’m going to have to forget ABC and watch CBS and NBC. Hope they don’t pull the same garbage.

  7. Marianne says:

    Of course because I live in the sticks of NJ, I have a really small cable provider that will not be in on this. No wonder illegal downloads are becoming more popular. It’s hilarious how these networks like to hold their shows when they are the networks you technically would not need cable to get in the first place. The cable networks make more sense for something like this. Not ABC or Fox.

    • cyn says:

      It’s “hilarious” that some people still don’t realize that live viewing is the best way of keeping a show going because it is the best chance to watch the commercials that help pay for the shows to air in the first place. I love the technological options too, but they don’t usually save shows, Hilarious though right?

      • Marianne says:

        Oh, I do live view usually. It’s just sometimes I am not home to watch stuff because I might be having a life away from the tv. I don’t have DVR, so next day viewing was my other option. The networks don’t show reruns like they used to either, so that’s why this is sort of an issue for me.

      • gia says:

        Psst. Online viewing has ads too. Pass it on.

        • Nero theTVFiddler says:

          You are on a roll – right again, ads are still the life-blood of content viewing and financing. Very good. :)

      • Zachary says:

        If you own a ratings box. If you don’t own a box then literally how you watch a show has 0 effect on its chances to get renewed or not.

        • BadCallABC says:

          Live viewing is pointless unless you are one of the, roughly, 5000 Nielsen families. Paid streaming is eyeballs and they should count as ratings.

          This decision by ABC is short-sighted. I have cable and hulu plus but I categorically refuse to provide that data to ABC in order to free stream from their site. Bad call, ABC. Bad call. You may have just lost a viewer.

  8. Good thing I have a DVR. If they didn’t have Castle & Once(both shows), I’d not watch ABC at all.

  9. Someone says:

    I hate this. Not everyone has cable or DVR. ABC is a free channel, the TV shows should be free to watch online. Waiting one day was one thing, but now 8 days?! Bad move, ABC, I do have other ways to watch TV shows online, but I would have preferred Hulu and the ABC website to support the show. Plus, I like to watch General Hospital, and you can’t wait 8 days to watch that because then you’ll fall behind.

    • Scott G says:

      ABC is not a free channel, it’s just that the advertisers pay instead of you. In exchange, they hope you see their ads while watching your favorite shows. They’re not obligated to let you watch for free online mere hours after the show airs because that’s just not how a free broadcast network operates. If you want to skip their ads, you have to pay or wait 8 days.

      • gdv says:

        You can’t skip ads when you watch online. It doesn’t let you. It doesn’t let you skip when you watch On Demand either, only if you DVR it. It’s a little silly to have to wait 8 days to watch a show that’s on basic cable. They should make it 5 days or something, so you can at least catch up before the next live episode. Otherwise, people will get behind on the show and just end up waiting for the full season to come on Netflix.

        • JC says:

          This is true. I watch almost everything streaming on my iPad, and you can’t skip ads. I’ve watched more ads since I started watching that way than I ever did when I had DirecTV.

          • KiP says:

            I have no idea where people get this notion that when you watch online you are missing ads. Unless you download illegally (which won’t be prevented by this move) then you still watch ads sometimes as many as 3 minutes worth of ads at a time which is comparable to live television. I get that watching live is a better way to support shows, but it is not always possible, and I don’t have cable. I hate the 8 day system. I’ve given up on Fox shows in the past because of it. I agree that 5 would be better. That way if you miss one or two live episodes you can catch up no problem.

      • Marianne says:

        Does Hulu air ads if you have the paid subscription? I’m not sure, so that’s why I’m asking. I had a free trial a while ago and can’t remember.

        • KiP says:

          Yes, you still have to watch ads on Hulu+. You have access to more shows, however, and you can watch episodes sooner than with a free account.

          • Drew says:

            Not true. Many shows that are available through Hulu are not available through Hulu Plus. It is a waste of money.

      • Jane says:

        Thank you. I’m really sick of these people who seem to think that they should have a say in whether a show is renewed or how a network shows it but then declare they never watch anything live or only watch on the internet. They don’t seem to understand that these shows have to be paid for and that is usually done with ads. So if you want to keep a show, watch it live or at least watch what you DVR within a few days.

        • Jen says:

          Whether I watch the show live or online makes no difference in me seeing ads, or the network knowing that I’ve watched the show since I don’t have Nielson Box. I don’t have cable, and only have an antenna; some people with this set up do have PVRs or other ways of recording shows, but I do not. So if I’m not home to watch a show live and I want to see it, I have to watch it online or wait for it to get released to Netflix/DVD. If I can, I’ll watch the show on hulu or the network site whenever possible, so I’m seeing the same amount of adds as if I was watching it live. Your argument just doesn’t hold up.

          I can understand waiting a few days, but 8 is too long since it puts you past the next episode therefore you can never catch up and then are forced to continue watching online (this is one of the reasons I gave up on trying to keep up with House on Fox a few years ago). It’s especially annoying since ABC will be running Grey’s and I believe OUAT without repeats when they return later this spring.

          • soundscene says:

            When I was growing up we had VCRs and they were a pain to work. But somehow we managed. No online viewing, no mobile viewing, etc. We can argue that networks need to get with the times (and I agree, they do), but we don’t actually have a right to free entertainment programming. We got lucky and it’s just been available to us because of the out-of-date ad-based television system. We should be paying directly for our entertainment–maybe then we’ll actually get what we want and every single person will be able to affect what continues to get produced rather than a limited number of people with Nielsen boxes.

      • Zelda says:

        By your logic, since we PAY for cable, there should be no ads on cable, right? Like I think it was back in the early days of cable.

        The broadcast networks use PUBLIC airwaves that American citizens own. If it was a 2-3 day delay or even 6, I get it. But 8 means you never catch up.

      • Judi says:

        Actually the broadcast spectrum is owned by we the people. It was another big giveaway of the commons to commercial networks who turn around and charge us double and triple.

  10. Jason says:

    Hulu plus is eight dollars…its very worth it if you are a tv junkie like I am.

  11. English (@dancingwishy) says:

    Fox did this two years ago. That’s when I invested in Hulu plus. Seriously, one of the best things ever. Its 8 bucks a month. I just go to starbucks two times less per month.

  12. Boiler says:

    Makes sense to me. Why should you get something for free while not watching live? Now the networks need to figure out a way to make money on DVR so they don’t unnecessarily cancel shows

    • Chris Leonardi says:

      Only problem is that unless you’re one of the 0.1% of the population that has a Nielsen box, your live viewing doesn’t matter.

  13. Esaul says:

    I’m fine with this move. I have Hulu Plus so it doesn’t limit me in any way.

  14. xav says:

    So you can’t watch the episode you missed until after the next one airs. Downloading it is.

  15. Lauren says:

    My issue with this is that it supposedly is to encourage live viewing. But what if you miss an episode of a show you normally watch live and then you’re unable to catch up because of the delay online? This happened to a friend of mine with Sleepy Hollow on Fox and she just now is at the point where she can watch it live because of the holiday break in programming.

  16. Dochas says:

    ABC has nothing I would want to watch next day anyway. They have nothing I want to watch the same day. For a network quickly becoming embarrassing, alienating ways for fans to watch is not a smart move.

  17. Chris Leonardi says:

    The reason that the networks do this online viewing is to try and get people away from piracy. How exactly does this encourage that.

  18. JC says:

    Well, it’s annoying. I don’t have a TV, and I’m already paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime – not sure I want to sign up for Hulu too. But it’s not the end of the world. I watch almost everything on my iPad though the network apps, and CBS already has their shows there on an eight-day delay for some reason. They have them sooner on their website but the player there is so crappy that I would just rather wait. So I guess I’ll be waiting on the ABC shows too. It just mainly means that I can’t really get involved in the episode discussions. :/

  19. Et al says:

    This should be the final nail in the coffin for most serialized ABC shows. They are such a bizarrely self-defeatist network.

  20. joey says:

    dumb move ABC.

  21. Andrew says:

    Their online player sucks now anyway.

    During Revenge’s first couple of seasons, I would watch the episodes online the following day to make sure all of the plot details would sink in — but not anymore.

    Towards the end of the second season, I noticed that the online player was slowing down and the video quality wasn’t as clear as it used to be. Also, the audio and video were often out of sync — to the point that it just became pointless to try and watch. So, I quit trying to use it.

    Now, I just watch live and try to keep up.

  22. Just a Guy says:

    There appears to be a very large number of industry shills on this post.

  23. Mangochic says:

    It wouldn’t affect me as i like letting episodes pile up so that I can marathon them after sometime instead of week to week.

  24. Lewis says:

    You say Hulu Plus, but then you mention Hulu’s free service. You should be more clear. Hulu Plus is not free.

  25. Erika says:

    That’s… stupid. I dumped cable years ago because I watch everything over the air or streamed. Why should I pay extra for a cable package when I don’t need to in order to see ABC? I know I’m not the only person who does this… Wouldn’t this be more likely to increase (if there are any increases) DVR usage? That wouldn’t help their live ratings…

  26. Fernando says:

    This proves my point that I made on another post, ABC are trying to kill thier network, now it will be even harder for people to catch up on thier shows

  27. Liz says:

    And more people will bleed to the internet. I watch more ads when I watch a program on the networks official site than if I watch “live”. But I’m not a Neilson family so what I do doesn’t matter.
    Also this is really a dumb idea for trying to bring in the coveted demo. We aren’t going to wait 8 days lol. I like watching on the official sites – I don’t mind ads and I want to be ‘counted’ as a viewer in some small way. But there are many many other ways to get my tv

    • xx says:

      Exactly! I’ll happily sit through normal-length ads on my computer to watch my shows legally/actually count, as you mentioned. But I stopped watching Glee when they did their 8-day nonsense and now I’ll stop watching ABC, too.

  28. Drew says:

    Stupid move. There are some shows that I would not bother to watch live, but watch on Hulu when I have free time and nothing better to do. I watch ads that way too. Now I am more likely to find an old (better) show on Netflix. No ads. I will probably end up just forgetting that those other shows exist.

    If I did decide to spend more money on this, I would just invest in another dvr. One time cost, instant access, fast forward through ads. Heck, I could record them in HD, edit out the commercials and burn them to bluray if I wanted!

    The networks and studios are seriously failing when it comes to keeping up with the times. The rating system is outdated and these attempts to stop people from using today’s technology simply cannot work. Instead of trying to come up with a model that works for them, they keep trying to dig their feet in and force us to go back to the old ways. It is silly.

  29. JC says:

    I agree with what Drew said above. The networks need to find a way to make new technology work for them instead of punishing people who use it. People who watch online watch more ads than people who DVR (because unless you’re watching illegally you literally can’t skip the ads). The networks need to be encouraging that, not discouraging it. I get that 1) advertisers don’t yet want to pay the rates for online advertising that they do for live TV and 2) that it’s not a full ad load – you’re not getting the local ads for one. But they need to figure these things out instead of trying to force everyone back in the box of scheduled live viewing. On demand viewing is here to stay, no matter how many obstacles the networks throw in its way.

    • Kella says:

      This…in addition to the whole if I miss a live episode I can’t catch up issue. All these corporate giants are in bed with each other. The networks, advertisers, cable, etc. Ugh. If I could figure out how to get live sports I would cut the cord yesterday!!

  30. SJP says:

    No offense to ABC, but at least other networks let DirecTV customers log in…why only cable??? That seems stupid! DirecTV provides much better service in my opinion, considering my family has been through so many different TV providers (started with DirecTV, went to Comcast, then to Dish Network, and eventually back to DirecTV, all within a six month period).

    • JC says:

      Yes, this does seem more calculated to benefit the cable companies than anything else. Which I’m not going to support.

  31. Gilda says:

    I understand the loss of live viewers and the concern over advertisements is an issue, but for me personally it really limits my chances of continuing with a show if it’s not easily available to catch up on. I have a busy schede and no DVR, so it’s not always possible to watch things when they air. If I miss an episode and have to wait until after the following episode to watch it, then I will therefore miss that episode, too, and I tend to eventually give up. I loved the first few episodes of American Horror Story this year, but I missed the third and couldn’t get caught up and therefore didn’t continue to watch the show. I’m not generally going to keep going if I miss an episode or two. So this unfortunately means I probably won’t get into any of the freshman ABC dramas and I’ll either stop watching Once and Revenge or download them through questionable means that I doubt ABC finds preferable.

  32. suzi says:

    Stupid ABC. I don’t want to pay for cable to watch next day. I guess u will have more free time. Greedy greedy!

  33. JB Smooove says:

    trying to hold on to a dying form of media. sad really. damned tryhards

  34. RS says:

    I watch live most of the time, because I’m home most nights and I like the routine. But if I can’t, lol, I’m not going to patiently wait over a week as some kind of contrition — if it’s not available within 48 hours, I’ll just watch it elsewhere.

  35. RobMF says:

    This is a bad idea, it’s just going to promote more pirating for them. If they made it available at least people would have to sit through the commercials the next day. So they’ll lose out on that ad money. No one is going to wait 8 days. You’ll be able to spoil 2 episodes of a show for someone in that time period. No one will bother.

  36. Pat griz says:

    I’m going to dust off my VCR.

  37. xx says:

    I guess I’m not providing online commercial hits while watching Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Nashville, or Scandal anymore. Since I don’t have a TV, and won’t be switching to live, that’s certainly not a positive for them.

  38. I don’t own a DVR. I don’t have cable. I work 2 jobs and have enjoyed the option of watching ABC shows at my leisure. All this does for me is free up some time to watch other shows…on other networks. Congrats, ABC. Sorry, Castle & Modern Family. I’ll binge watch ya’ when your DVDs arrive at the library.

  39. soundscene says:

    Nobody has the right to free entertainment. You’re lucky you get it now. And the only way you get it now is because of the Nielsen/advertiser-based television system that most people think is flawed. In reality, every single broadcast network could switch to being a pay station tomorrow and there’s not a dang thing we could do about it. Note: there are FCC regulations requiring certain content, like the news, to be freely available over the air, but not entertainment programs.
    Honestly, I would rather television switch to the Netflix model. Instead of over-the-air broadcast stations and cable/satellite (in which you have to buy “packages”), every single network requires you to subscribe to their service for their original entertainment programming. You only pay for the networks that you want. If you don’t want to watch everything on the network, then you can use iTunes or Amazon to pay for individual shows. Over time this system would probably be cheaper for viewers than buying cable packages (and getting a bunch of networks you’ll never watch), and it would allow networks to cater directly to the viewer rather than some advertiser and the advertiser’s idea of the perfect demographic. It’s just not going to go over well with folks who want everything free.

  40. Jillian says:

    Fox did this a few years ago. I don’t really see the big deal. Pretty sure no one voiced concern when Fox was doing it with all of their shows in 2010.

  41. Chrs says:

    So basically pay the cost to watch your shows online, in addition or opposed to paying your cable bill, or make sure you have a constant DVR recording of them if you don’t wanna constantly be a week behind with your shows and suffer the social penance.

    • Chrs says:

      Honestly this didn’t bother me too much when Fox started doing it, cuz I only watched The Simpsons and Family Guy there, and let’s be honest, nobody’s missing much there. But the majority of the shows me and my family watch are on ABC. Is this going to be for all their shows or just a few select programs?

      • Nero theTVFiddler says:

        I think all of their shows – at least for now. The bigger question – is ABC in this alone? Will NBC and CBS follow? NBC is owned by Comcast, so maybe Comcast already has plans in motion for something similar for NBC.

        I don’t agree with this approach ABC is taking, but, time will tell. I keep thinking of the old saying – “Beware of unintended consequences.”

  42. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    The folks at ABC are taking a risk here – they are good people, I’m sure they know the risks. If this approach works, then I suspect the cable companies will be happy with ABC and will try to push the other networks to do the same. If this approach doesn’t work, and ABC shows start to lose ratings (people just tune in somewhere else and lose track of the ABC programs), then – well, we know what will happen.

    But we don’t want to lose sight of the core principle – ‘content is king’. The battle taking place is really over what is the distribution model we all want to use, not the value of the content. If the content is good, we’ll pay for it (see Netflix). If the content is bad, they can’t give it away (see Fox comedies, with possible exception of New Girl).

    But make no mistake, the cable companies are behind this move by ABC, and it may have something to do with the new streaming app that ABC is bringing forward, how that app content is then distributed to mobile devices, and who (cell phone providers or cable companies) is proving the ‘pathways’ to get that ABC content to those mobile devices.

    My only advice to the folks at ABC, CBS, NBC – don’t let the cable companies bully you. You folks are the content providers – you’ve got the keys to the car. You guys will be fine in the long run. The cable companies? They are now nothing but ‘middle-men.’ The ‘tar pits’ await them.

  43. Britta Unfiltered says:

    By providing the shows free online, they could have made money off ad revenue since watching online through ABC pretty much forces you to watch the commercials. No fast forwarding allowed. By making this decision, they’re pretty much inviting people to pirate their shows. I don’t think anybody out there watching ABC shows online is going to say, “Oh, hey, I have to have cable to watch ABC online? I better go sign up for cable!”

  44. Josh Emerson says:

    Stupid move. This is just going to push people towards watching illegal streams again rather than them getting at least some money through ad content.

  45. A says:

    ABC used to be my favorite network because it made its shows so accessible, but this is a deal-breaker.

    Where I live, one needs to subscribe to cable just to get basic broadcast reception, so I’m already paying for the privilege of watching it for “free.” However, the only cable provider in my area is not one of the ones approved by ABC (or Fox) for online viewing, so I just lost my favorite way of watching, unless I decide to pay *more* money to subscribe to *another* service.

    Yes, I can wait another week to catch up on the four shows I don’t watch live. But the sense of being nickeled and dimed is killing my interest.

  46. kenara says:

    This is a good idea. While it sucks for most people, TV networks and cable companies deserve to be paid for the content that they themselves pay for and create.

    Personally, I have Comcast Xfinity so this doesn’t affect me but too many people think they should get this content for free and that’s not how things work. Our society has too many people who think they are entitled to get something for nothing and these networks and cable companies are in the business of making money, not giving it away for free.

    • A says:

      Yeah, I do think I’m entitled — to see something I’m already paying for. What angers me about the deal is it’s limited to eight providers, and if your provider isn’t one of those eight, too bad.

      • Nero theTVFiddler says:

        ‘A’ – An antenna solution may end up being more expensive, but check online, or stop by your local Radio Shack or Best Buy/Geek Squad. They may be able to (as least) help you find someone local who can test and install a higher range outdoor HDTV antenna that may be able to help you capture some/most of the HDTV signals in your area. If you live in a very rural area, then, indeed, you may be unable to find a workable antenna solution. But it may be worth a try – there are some very high range antennas available. To learn more, check the websites – and

        Regarding watching the ABC shows after the initial airing – if you need to consider a DVR option.

        I agree with you on some points here you made with kenara – content providers/creators can, and should be paid for their work. No argument with kenara on that point. However, the content providers want/need viewers/listeners, etc. They need an audience. Some content can be paid for via subscription fee, some cannot. That’s where commercial-based programming comes into play. Don’t worry – the commercial-based television system isn’t going anywhere – it will be around for a long, long time, and with an HDTV antenna, that programming can still be ‘free’ with commercial-based system of revenue stream.

        I also have (like kenara) Comcast Xfinity, and it is (I’m sorry) a nightmare. Rising prices, no choice of content (ala carte options), horrible support, more and more services (security, home mgmt) piled atop an aging infrastructure that Comcast is struggling to manage. Comcast service trucks are all over the area, fixing outages constantly. And still more services piled on. It is what happens when a company gets too big – the marketing department is selling services the engineers and OPS department can no longer support. Death spiral – that’s Comcast’s future.

        • RK Tor says:

          But who wants to go out and buy a new TV and an antenna just to watch a couple shows? Subscribers who are paying for Hulu+ and watching the ads so they aren’t losing any money by letting us view the shows the day after they air.

    • Zelda says:

      Cable is a PIPE. Can you imagine the water company telling you, sorry you can’t get tap water until you prove you’ve bought bottled water at the grocery store.

  47. Ginger Snap says:

    So I wonder how many of you are paying for cable or satellite, use a Smart Phone with a 4G LTE, and pay for sn ISP through your cable, satellite or phone company and still keep a land line? Because the only thing that is “free” is over the air broadcast TV with an HD antenna. But you pay the price for this free service by having to put up with over 19 minutes of commercials for a “one hour” show.
    Right now the only one of these services I pay for is my cell phone service. I subscribe to Hulu and pay the $8 per month. I see far fewer commercials on Hulu then I do the traditional way. I still use my HD antenna to record the majority of shows I watch and use a video editing tool to trim the commercials.
    Frankly the broadcast networks have to adapt their business model and provide quality programs that I am willing to pay for. Like the movie industry. Bombarding me with 20 minutes of commercials per hour isn’t going to cut it.

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      What you describe is very similar to the types of solutions customers are asking us to provide for them – most all are cable-cutters. Some form of ‘hybrid’ model is what we’re working with today, but the end-user/’customer’ has to be somewhat savvy in how they manage and operation their viewing devices.

      You clearly have a very good grasp on how to make this happen. If you can help others do the same, that’s a good thing. That’s what we’re trying to do. In some cases, we have a couple of older customers who really only want to continue to use their old antennas and VCRs [yes, VCRs ;)], so we set them up with a workable process and hybrid model and *slowly* migrate them to broadband and (possibly) Roku type solutions if they feel daring and can afford it.

      The “WATCH ABC” app that the network has developed for mobile viewing is geared towards an LTE/cell phone provider network. This is the model the cable companies/ISPs [those who send transmission data to fixed locations, such as your home or office] are going to have to battle. They know it.

      The HD antenna solution actually works very well, and we use it in many customer solutions. However, as noted above by a prior post by ‘A’, some people could not get good reception via old analog antenna, let alone now trying via digital HDTV signals. In those cases, there are high end outdoor antennas that can work, but are very cost/labor prohibitive.

      Keep up the good fight – you are on the right track. One question for you if you don’t mind answering me – do you have a monthly no-limit data plan on your LTE/cell phone plan? We’re running into this problem constantly with customers. They want to just have cell phone service to support all their communication needs, mobile, into the home, etc., but the data plans and those associated costs are (or will) kill them in the long. For those instances, we’re working on newer development in-house that may provide peer-to-peer WiFi based hybrid (for now) solutions to better control costs. Are you concerned with the rising costs of your LTE/cell phone service? If so, we may have a solution coming.

      • Ginger Snap says:

        I use a good RCA antenna that cost about $70 and picks up about 70 channels where I live. But I only routinely use about 10 and the signal is excellent. Had to add a signal amplifier for the one NBC station in town. I don’t own a TV so I added a TV tuner to my computer which allows me to record 2 shows at a time . I have 2 machines set up for this. I own a home theater projector
        My house is less than 7 years old and I had the wiring installed at the time it was built so there’s a CATV outlet in every bedroom plus the living room and great room. With a central CATV box in
        Ultimately the cost

      • Ginger Snap says:

        I use a good RCA antenna that cost about $70 and picks up about 70 channels where I live. But I only routinely use about 10 and the signal is excellent. Had to add a signal amplifier for the one NBC station in town. I don’t own a TV so I added a TV tuner to my computer which allows me to record 2 shows at a time . I have 2 machines set up for this. I own a home theater projector
        My house is less than 7 years old and I had the wiring installed at the time it was built so there’s a CATV outlet in every bedroom plus the living room and great room. With a central CATV box in the garage where the antenna lives.
        Ultimately the total cost of the system is far less than $100 monthly cable bill I used to pay with a dedicated DSL line from my phone company that cost an additional $20 to $30.
        When there’s something I want to watch on cable I will pay for it through Google Play or Amazon. But I spend less than $ 100 per year on this.

      • Ginger Snap says:

        In regards to your question about data plans I do have a device that allows unlimited date use. While my home is wired to allow me to use a LAN I do use a bridge that allows all of my computers to connect wirelessly to the device.
        I didn’t come to these solutions in a planned way but had to do some research to solve each problem as it came up.

        • Nero theTVFiddler says:

          Thanks for the feedback/info – good ideas. Hold onto that unlimited data plan ;)

          • Ginger Snap says:

            Actually the antenna I bought cost only $50 not $70.. This is a permanent solution that cost less than one cable bill.

  48. meresger says:

    I hate this 8 days thing. Can’t they make it 6? Or even 7 so you could catch it before the next new episode? But no, it’s all about economic and they want people to pay for the episodes in their attempt to keep up with the shows. I agree with others who commented on hating commercials, and those 20 minutes could add some important scenes to many shows that feel badly edited to fit them in. But this isn’t a great solution. There has to be some middle ground.

  49. Auntie Ralph says:

    Really doesn’t seem smart, if nothing else for the number they chose. You’re limiting the ways people who miss an episode can catch up, and episodes online was a great way to do it. Now not wanting the episode to go up immediately after? I still question that move but it doesn’t seem poorly thought out. You put it up the day after the most recent episode airs almost no one benefits from that at all except maybe people who want to rewatch it to see how it compares with the new one. Well there are probably other exceptions but it seems like the people most likely to use and benefit from the offer are now screwed. Even 7 days would be better if they posted it in the AM so people can watch right before the new one if they missed last week and can’t DVR.

  50. Ant says:

    Stupid. People will not watch, pirate, wait for Netflix, etc.

    • UNHAPPY says:

      I have free TV…DTV convertor and an older Sony. I will not pay to watch what should be free; ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and a few others. Grey’s Anatomy is in its 10 season because of loyal fans like myself. Deprived of the opportunity to watch online and ABC will lose a loyal audience. It’s sad that it’s come to this. But hell has no fury like a woman scorned. I will discontinue watching ABC…PERIOD!