Well, if you're one of those who has long relied on ABC's website (ABC.com) to catch your favorite ABC shows, soon after they air on TV, things are about to change in that regard, in 2014.
New year, new rules. Money to be made, I suppose.
According to a statement from ABC, starting January 6th, exclusive access to ABC episodes within one week of air will ONLY be available to subscribers of the below participating cable TV service providers.
- AT&T U-verse
- Cablevision Optimum
- Comcast XFINITY
- Cox Communications
- Google Fiber
- Verizon FiOS
If you subscribe to any of these providers, you will be asked to verify your account with a username and password by following the on-screen prompts on WATCHABC.com or in the WATCH ABC app on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, etc. If you don't have a username and password, contact your cable TV provider customer service department for help.
If your provider is not listed, ABC says that they are working to add more. In the meantime, you have a few options:
- Check your TV provider's video on-demand offering. Most offer next day viewing.
- You can access episodes on WATCHABC.com and the WATCH ABC app a week after they air.
- New episodes are also available with a subscription to Hulu Plus, or for purchase on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video.
So, those without cable TV service, like me, will have to wait a week after each episode airs on the network (up until today's news, you could've watched Scandal, for example, on ABC's website, for FREE, within 24 hours after it aired on ABC TV. Not anymore.
You can always do what I've done, which is subscribe to Hulu Plus (it's around the same price as a Netflix streaming account), or you can pay per episode via Amazon Instant Video, or iTunes (usually around $3.99 per episode, or you can save by buying an entire season at once), and you'll be able to watch episodes of ABC series within 24 hours after they are broadcast on the network.
Does this affect you? If so, what will you do?