Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Fox to Limit Next-Day Streaming on Hulu to Paying Cable Customers - ABC is considering a similar move -

Fox to Limit Next-Day Streaming on Hulu to Paying Cable Customers - ABC is considering a similar move - 

For a few years, fans have been able to log on to Hulu.com orFox.com to watch what they missed on television the previous night. For most viewers, doing so is about to get a lot more difficult.

Starting Aug. 15, the Fox network will limit next-day streaming of its shows to paying customers of approved cable and satellite distributors. Those customers will be able to log in and watch episodes of “Bones,” “The Simpsons” and other shows the day after they appear on TV; all others will have to wait eight days.
The limitations, announced on Tuesday and bemoaned by fans of Hulu, are a significant change to the online television system. At least one of Hulu’s other network partners, ABC, is contemplating setting a similar limit, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
For Fox, a unit of the News Corporation, the new limitations are driven by a desire to protect lucrative deals with cable and satellite distributors. Increasingly, distributors are paying monthly fees for Fox programs through retransmission agreements, and they dislike the fact that many of the programs are free online.
By putting an eight-day delay in place, Fox is appeasing the distributors and supporting what is known in the TV industry as an authentication model for online streams of shows. Cable channels like ESPN and CNN are implementing a similar model, which requires an individual to authenticate that they are a cable or satellite customer before streaming a show or a channel. Through authentication, traditional distributors hope to keep customers paying for monthly TV service while making it possible to access a wealth of content online.
Fox’s announcement marks the first instance of authentication by a broadcast network. To make authentication work, programmers and distributors have to work together and in some cases sign new contracts; that’s why Fox announced only one distribution partner on Tuesday, Dish Network, which has a subscriber-only Web site for streaming TV,DishOnline.com.
All other cable and satellite customers will be affected by the eight-day delay until Fox lines up other participating distributors. Network executives declined interview requests on Tuesday, but they acknowledged privately that many viewers would be disadvantaged, at least temporarily, by the strategic shift.

No comments:

Post a Comment