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. J-Man says:

    So let me get this straight, a network with no viewers is going to make it harder to watch their shows…….

  2. Tammy says:

    I’m sure DirecTV customers will be left out like almost every other streaming service. I really wish I could get HBO to Go on my Roku since the interface is better than that on DTV. Just seems odd I can get it on my iPad but not on Roku.

  3. Eleanor says:

    Oh for god’s sake. I have rabbit ears and a converter box. I don’t want to pay for cable, I don’t want an extra bill. Well ABC, now I’ll just stream the shows the following day from another source. You lose.

    • Kim says:

      ABC will lose because if viewers go elsewhere then why should advertisers advertise on Advertisers won’t bother paying abc to be on the on-line version if the viewership stinks.

  4. stud says:

    I have basically quit keeping up with Fox shows in real time due to their 8-days-later policy and now watch Bones and Glee much later than they air, even though earlier I tried to catch up if I missed one episode and then continued to watch the next episode live, this 8-day policy basically forced me to give up on trying to catch up. I guess the same will happen to ABC now. Preventing people from catching up before the next episode airs is not a smart move if they care about live viewing…

  5. everyone says:

    ABC is Disney is a greedy corporation.

  6. doc watson says:

    so the basic thought is if you miss a show you wait till after the next show has aired to watch the one you missed. since you have to do this you will skip the next show and get in a cycle of watchinf 8+ days late. Guess that will make the rateings realy suck as more and more people miss one show and get into the 8 day later habit. Wait that is so dumb it rates with Obama care and no one not in goverment would propose something that would continually lower their audience each week!

  7. Kim says:

    Now, if I miss an episode, I just wont’ watch it. Maybe I’ll lose interest in the show…who knows? That means I won’t watch all those stupid ads that were on-line either (the ones I skip when I DVR it off the television.) I would think paying advertisers would rather have us watch online where we MUST view commercials than on TV where we can DVR/VCR the show and skip commercials. Seems stupid to me.

  8. Kelley says:

    This is not a true statement. I am a Hulu Plus subscriber and I can’t see next day shows that I could previously from these channels. My cable provider is not listed, so it doesn’t matter if you have Hulu or not. What is the reason behind this. Is ABC getting a kickback from these certain cable providers. Hulu never gave notice of this either. Such a shame, but I will be cancelling Hulu.

  9. JC says:

    8 days!!! I have better things to do than wait 8 days. I have ABC with an old antenna, ABC is a free channel, and now you want me to spend my $$ on a full cable subscription to watch a show I like?? Way to up your ratings, just lost a viewer!!!!

  10. Joy says:

    I have Hulu Plus so I was hoping to watch the latest Revenge ep but, to my dismay, I was NOT allowed to. Needless to say, I have cancelled my subscription with them.

  11. Zoe says:

    I’ve been trying ALL day to access last night’s show on Watch and get nothing but errors on my iPad, iPhone and pc. Maybe they should have tested this before rolling it out? Dumb move on their part. I’ll just watch it on DVR instead of online.

  12. BW says:

    Seems to me that demanding a cable-tv subscription to view tv shows on-demand is about the best strategy the networks could come up with to ensure that video pirating outfits build loyal viewer bases. They don’t penalize you for not having cable, and they don’t make shows available next day – they make them available within mere minutes of having aired!

  13. April says:

    Dumb move ABC!!!!

  14. David says:

    I have been without cable TV for the past two years. I watch what I want to watch when it is available and free for streaming. Amazing how after doing this for two years, there are no TV shows that capture my interest and that “needy” feeling to watch the most recent episode “live”.

  15. SPRING says:

    I find it all frustrating, I don’t have a TV or cable (where I live there is NO cable, you can get satellite if you have money for it). I can’t afford either a TV or cable/satellite. As it is I struggle to pay for the internet, and my computer (a gift) is my only lifeline to to the outside world. I am disable and bed ridden, and TV shows and online games are my outlet. I love my SOAPS, they already took away AMC/OLTL now easy access to GH. I feel cut off from my “family” and angry that they don’t seem to really care about the viewers, it’s ALL ABOUT THE MONEY and the RATINGS, and what can we the viewers really do? It would be nice if networks showed they care more about their viewers, but I get the feeling that isn’t going to happen.

  16. Abby says:

    Matt are you sure about Charter being one of the providers. I have Charter and Hulu plus and when I tried to connect with my cable or satellite account Charter was not listed as a choice for provider.

  17. Joshua Glowzinski says:

    I am 28, I always tried to defend watching TV that was actually on TV. On cable and stuff. that is until I got a Roku 3, net flix, hulu plus and Amazon prime. Now I wish every show would be available on those services. It makes it so much more fun watching stuff, if you can wait until the show in over and watch many episodes one after another. I am about to take Psych from our DVR and watch on Hulu Plus. The only problem with those services is that you never know when they are going to take a show off. I guess I could just download them and watch on my Apple TV. But I would rather not have to buy them.

  18. Tim H says:

    Good bye Castle! And any other ABC shows that decided to detain viewing…you had a nice run…there are too many other shows I can easily become a fan of….

  19. Tim H says:

    Forgot to mention….
    Blacklist or Castle, Castle or Blacklist ..Thanks Time Warner and Hulu for making my decision easier…Blacklist it is….Take care Richard….

  20. Todd H says:

    SEPT. 24, 2012 – MAY 22, 2013

    ADULTS 18-49

    1. CBS 2.9/8 (Down 3% from 2011-2012 season)
    2. FOX 2.5/7 (Down 22% from 2011-2012 season)
    3. NBC 2.4/7 (Down 4% from 2011-2012 season
    4. ABC 2.2/6 (Down 8% from 2011-2012 season) Delay more viewing….you’ll be last!
    5. CW 0.7/2 (Down 13% from 2011-2012 season)

  21. T Paul says:

    So I can’t watch Castle when I WANT due to the ABC limits. Does anyone know the reason ABC decided to make a decision that will make a lot of people STOP watching Castle. I have an idea, I’ve got an old VCR, rabbit ears, converter and an older TV…I’ll just tape Castle on Monday nights as I did other prime time programs 15 years ago when I worked 2nd shift. Now I can proudly tell my friends…”SEE THIS IS WHY I NEVER THREW AWAY MY OLD VCR, YOU NEVER KNOW…YOU MAY NEED IT AGAIN ONE DAY.”

  22. Where are the “Available Next day” eppisodes of General Hospital? on Hulu+ that are suppose to be there? Is this a joke? My cable provider isn’t covered in this farce, and even though Hulu+ subscribers were told we could watch next day epppisodes, they aren’t there! Why? Why? Why? I’m so over greedy companies!

  23. JP says:

    This might also explain why old seasons of some ABC shows were available free on Amazon Prime prior to Monday, and can only be viewed for a fee now.

  24. Rich G says:

    Very disappointed in ABC you lost me as a viewer both online and terrestrial television the moment you made me have to verify my tv provider. Im boycotting all ABC programming.

    Rich G
    San Diego Ca

  25. Dani says:

    B.S. I am not expecting something for nothing. When I watch online, I have to sit through ads, just like I would during live broadcasts. Those ads generate revenue for ABC, so I don’t see a difference and don’t see why I should be forced to wait over a week for access. It just allows me to actually have a life instead of scheduling my life around an arbitrary tv schedule. I have a feeling I’m just going to stop watching abc shows now because it’s a PITA. Greed is going to cost them some viewers.

  26. Kay says:

    Well I don’t have cable or hulu plus and I work through all my favorite shows. I guess no more online entertainment for me.. Exactly what you said I’ll have to wait for it to come on netflix.

  27. Sharon says:

    Just watched Days of Our Lives for free – NBC Rocks

    ABC STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Jeanne says:

    They don’t make enough money already? It’s all about the bottom line. How cheap to do this. It’s not like they aren’t showing commercials during the online viewing, but that isn’t enough for them? Since this happened, I’m already watching more CBS, NBC,PBS (I’m addicted to Downton Abby) and even Fox. ABC doesn’t have very good shows anymore anyway. There are only a couple that I still watch. Usually when companies change things for the worse, it is usually the beginning of their downfall. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. Yes, you need to make a profit, but they’ve just gotten too money hungry. This is just one of the bad changes they’ve made.

  29. hoarse says:

    ABC has been a real dog for a long time now. This is just another bad decision in a string of many bad decisions.

    Out of a possible 21 hours of evening viewing (7 > 10X7) per week, I only see 3 shows(3 hours) worth watching. That is pretty bad math and demonstrates lots bad decisions on their part.

    I live in a rural area, have OTA ($60 antenna), no cable ( never had it never plan on having it, total rip off). I installed the antenna myself, on my roof, so no cost there (I am a 60+ female and if I can do it most people can do it).

    Instead of trying to keep up with the games these people play, I bought a TV tuner for my computer (came with scheduling/recording software, cost all of 25 bucks and it was USB so no need to even open the computer for installation). Hooked my computer up to my big screen TV (via VGA, no HDMI on system), setup my recording schedule and never looked back.

    I watch what I want, when I want and oh yeah, I forward through commercials. :)

  30. Cstuart says:

    My DVR messed up and now I’m unable to watch an episode of a series show before the next one airs. Makes me want to just forget about any shows on ABC. I already pay plenty of money for my DirecTV service (in non-cable area) so I’m not going to be asking them to add on this service for FREE network TV. Just seems like a way to alienate loyal viewers to me.

  31. ffgump says:

    If broadcast content is available live by way of an antenna from the networks and it’s paid for via advertisements, why don’t all the networks stream the same content over the net live with ads? Isn’t online streaming an even better model for the networks, in that they can count eyeballs beyond 5,000 Neilsen boxes? I don’t get it – why not stream all network programming live, online?

  32. Savvy Watcher says:

    I think it has more to do with the 2014 return of “Downton Abbey” and other shows on other channels that are hitting ABC’s ratings. When PBS has “Downton Abbey” running in the same slot as ABC’s “Revenge,” for example, ABC may try to force the issue to see which show viewers will choose to watch live.

  33. Robin says:

    Very frustrated that I can’t watch a show I missed. I did not DVR it because I figured I would just watch it today online. Now I’m going to miss the next episode too, because I can’t watch this one for 8 days. Really? I have Dish Network and I’m not going to subscribe to Hulu or anything else in order to watch. ABC – I’m frustrated. This is not a good move. I agree that the cable companies must have pushed for this, and that’s why they want you to verify who you subscribe through. Ridiculous.

    • Joshua Glowzinski says:

      I have Amazon prime. I got it for the free two day shipping. I’ve ordered probably over $10,000 worth of stuff in 2013. I forgot that I got shows and movies free with the service. Last night I was looking. They do not have that many networks, but they have all the shows that Hulu Plus does not. I mean, they give you the full season 1 and 2 of Grimm as well as all of the other shows that I was dissapointed not to be able to get on Hulu. I am sure net flix will get these shows as well. But check out Amazon prime. Many of the things I’ve pre ordered I get ON release day.

  34. Leslie Ann says:

    Dang, I wish I would have known about this before I turned the computer on this morning. Now I will just have to wait a few hours for Soapnet.

  35. mary rutkowski says:

    I won’t be watching “Nashville” then and they will lose fans to the reality “Nashville” show… I think this cast is amazing – esp. Connie Britton. But I refuse to get or participate in the cable scam… if you have patience and can wait – I’d rather watch for free because NO TV is worth paying for… I’m that old… haven’t had cable for decades and don’t plan to. If you plan creatively and read books – you can wait or just drop show. I can live w/o any show – I just hope this doesn’t happen to “Parenthood” but if it does, so be it. I’ll stop watching that too. It’s just TV folks. Peace.

    • I do like TV. Brain injury in 03 and really not doing much now. I will go to college soon though. But, while I love TV and movies, I don’t care about cable anymore. I own hundreds of movies on DVD and Blu-Ray. As well as hundreds of TV shows, full series and anime. Plus, I have Plus, Flix and Amazon prime. So cable is becoming pointless.

      My mom told me her and my step dad pay over $150 a month for cable, cell phones, phone and maybe something else. It is all through Verizon. I asked her what she thought about just canceling the cable. We all watch shows at night and my mom, step father and I watch stuff when we exersize, but we can just use the Roku 3 for that.

      As I said on here a bit ago, I always pushed people to watch live TV. Then I got a Roku and it changed everything. Maybe it is one of those things that people hate until they try it. I wait for the day that every network in the US, puts every show on something like Hulu Plus. Imagine if they even went so far as to do it be decade. You could have shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today. You could even pick to watch the shows in the order they aired. You could set somehting to like, March 4 1985. The stuff that aired on ABC that day would play through, just as they did on TV. THAT would be something everyone could enjoy. Even if they made you pay more. If they had somehting like that, and required you to pay, say $49.99 a month. I would be fine with that. It would still cost less than cable. I am 28. So I am excited to see what happens with cable.

      I just can not understand something. If a network gives a company, like Hulu, the rights to air their shows, why do they then make the decision to make them so hard to watch. I saw a comerchial last night they said, watch the show live. I just laughed. It is impossible to fight the future.

  36. April says:

    My cable provider is on the list, but how do I log in to watch what I missed?????? Please help.

  37. JP says:

    ABC obviously does not care about viewers. I for one DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO CABLE yet I watched ABC SHOWS regularly (watched is the KEY WORD). I now will no longer watch or patronize advertisers that market to ABC. I should not be penalized for not subscribing to cable when I can watch BROADCAST NETWORKS without it.

  38. Jess says:

    The annoying thing is we have cable, but our provider isn’t listed, so it doesn’t even matter that we HAVE cable. I can watch the episodes on demand but only 1 of our tv’s has the box to do this because we don’t need all of them too. It’s a stupid and petty, but it’s an annoyance. I should be able to watch on my computer since we have cable, but their limited list of providers allowing it, doesn’t help.

  39. Ciara says:

    I am very disappointed at this policy. At first I thought it would not be a big deal and I would just make an effort to watch it live. However, last night I missed the Bachelor because the programming from the ABC broadcast kept cutting in and out (only ABC and no other channels). Now I feel like I’ll always be behind and it won’t be worth watching anymore. After all, why would I watch next week’s episode when I still haven’t seen this week’s episode. I know it is fueled by cable companies wanting more money but I am more likely to never buy cable since they seem to think they can monopolize regular programming as well.

  40. cindy says:

    They aren’t available on Hulu Plus the next day and not even 8 days later.

  41. RMaria C. says:

    This is outrageous & very unfair people, we should really have a petition & get a whole bunch of signatures, show these A**holes that they cannot get away with this & take our money to catch up on our programs, I’m not paying for hulu plus & all those other thieves who want to charge us! We need to do something about this!!!!!

  42. I am dissapointed the provider list is so small. If you have to verify subscriptions include the satellite companies like dish. It seems unbelievable that the rating system cannot be updated to include online watching. I watch online episodes on many of the network pages and I watch the advertisements. Everyone watches online now.

  43. 8185 says:

    Has anyone actually been able to access these tv shows? I have verified mail provider on chrome and internet explorer. The commercials would play, then the screen would go black. I keep getting error messages.

  44. Allen says:

    What is unfortunate is the fact that if you have cable, but it’s through a group package for a apartment building, you can’t get verified for it, even though you’re clearly paying for it.

  45. Florin says:

    I use online websites.

  46. Mickey says:

    I have cable and STILL can’t watch my show the next day on ABC streaming because my cable company is not valid, according to ABC.

  47. Susan M says:

    Okay. Grey’s Anatomy was eight days ago, Thursday, Feb 27th. It is now Friday, March 7. When will I be allowed to see my show?
    I use an antenna to watch TV, so I cannot record it. And I am not home to watch TV Thursday night. So? Thanks, ABC.

  48. Patricia says:

    Unbelievable! I actually happen to be an Optimum customer but I only use them for internet. I tried logging into with my optimum ID and apparently I don’t “qualify” for streaming shows online because I don’t have cable tv service. No way am I shelling out over $100 a month for basic cable and a phone line that I don’t want or need. Oh well, you lost a viewer ABC, iBooks here I come.

    • Ronnie says:

      totally agree. ABC you blew it. Because of business and my clients I can’t watch half your shows at the “regular time”. Now having been a loyal ABC viewer for over 40 years you stick it to us because we have Satellite TV. and we can’t even get your partner cable networks where we live in NY.

      Did you forget the FCC regulates cable network areas? Did Comcast pay you off with the hopes to pressure time warner to sell?

      So now you stick it to the innocent and loyal (formerly)viewers. Frankly, I’ll never watch ABC again no matter how good you think your programming is or which cable company merges gets gobbled up into a monopoly .

      Bluntly, I be sure to tell everyone I know – family, friends, clients, competitors, employees to boycott ABC (always been cheap network).

      Maybe Al Gore can broker a deal for you and Disney to be merged with Al-Jezerra and then you can continue down your leftist leaning road to a myopic degenerating network with fewer and fewer viewers.

  49. Crystal says:

    Yup I’m gone too. I think it should at least be available the day of the new episode so you can at least try and catch up that day. So disappointed in ABC.

  50. Jknerem says:

    I have Verizon Fios and I usually watch live or DVR. I missed the season opener of 1 show because CBS programming went overtime & the DVR cannot compensate, yet, neither CBS nor ABC have any 2014 episodes On Demand yet, this year. All I wanted was to watch that 1 episode (hate sitting thru the commercials on On Demand!). Backfire! Now, I won’t watch the show at all because I’m behind! Why, exactly, are we supposed to be grateful or satisfied to pay thousands of dollars per year to get less & less, to continually be manipulated more & more, and be treated as though we don’t matter. This is what happens when you go from being referred to as a “customer” to being referred to as a “consumer”.