ABC streaming leaves DirecTV, Dish customers out in the cold

It's no secret that paid TV subscriptions are on the decline. People are turning to streaming options as a replacement for the high monthly fees, and providers are trying to convince customers to continue paying hundreds of dollars a year for their service. So what does a company do if they can't convince customers to stay?

If you're ABC, the answer is simple: Require users to have a pay TV service in order to stream your content. Starting on January 6th, if you want to stream a show within a week of it being aired, you will be required to have a paid cable subscription. According to ABC, "Pay TV service providers are a key part of the television industry in delivering broadcast content through new technology platforms." If you already subscribe to one of the authorized providers, then you won't notice much of a difference. However both DirecTV and Dish are not present on the list of providers, meaning satellite customers will not be able to stream ABC content until a week after it's aired on the network.

The list of authorized providers is:

  • AT&T U-verse,
  • Cablevision Optimum,
  • Charter,
  • Comcast XFINITY,
  • Cox Communications,
  • Google Fiber,
  • Midcontinent,
  • Verizon FiOS

It's hard to believe that in today's day and age, providers are trying to make it more difficult to legally watch content. Will this move drive people back to paid services? Or will it just piss off current customers of "unsupported" providers?

Source: ABC | Image Courtesy of ABC

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ABC is owned and operated by Disney whom also owns ESPN networks. They charge providers way more than any other channel or company per subscriber which is around $5/per. When you look at that it may not sound like much but then figure in that Dish is also in contract negotiations since October with them about many things and this is one of them (Streaming Rights). Many users like myself want ESPNU in HD and would like to be able to access WatchESPN but as of now and still months later nobody has budged. There is a big annoucment coming Jan6th from Dish about something, most likely a new Hopper with more tuners but nobody knows for sure yet.

When I saw the list of authorized providers, I knew this was the case, that they had likely put ABC streaming into the same umbrella as WatchESPN and the similar Disney services.

DirecTV has to be negotiated this year as well. I suspect the two are connected. Disney probably will want Dish and DirecTV to pay more for the streaming.

Isnt ABC publicly funded? This seems pretty unethical to limit anyone from their content if they are. I must be naive to their price structure but cant they sell higher priced ads and open up video steaming of their content and possibly make MORE money then they are now?

As far as I know, the American version of ABC is by no means publicly funded, now ABC in Australia, maybe that's another story.

The hopper is pretty awesome, and i hear the genie is pretty sweet too, you are a power user, I have never heard of sagetv, and i bet 80% of tv watchers haven't either, true iptv is still years away. Once technology gets to a point where it is powerful enough and cheap enough to produce on a large scale, and internet with a large pipeline is covers 90+% of the country we aren't going to be able to have a truly interactive and entertaining tv watching experiences. The hopper with the sling is a step in the right direction because you can use the apps to interact with friends and people around the world who are watching those shows. And once large content providers realize that they need to start incorporating those features we aren't going to have any note worthy advancements in tv technology.

Irrelevant for Dish customers with The Hopper and Prime Time Anytime. My DVR records all 4 networks during prime time and keeps those shows for 8 days. If I haven't noticed it existed by then, I don't ever plan on watching it. It is probably my favorite feature of Dish...that and using the baked in Sling tech to watch anything my DVR can watch on my tablet, PC, or phone any time in any location I want. Although, if I had no wife and kids, I would also have no satellite or cable TV. A good antenna and the Internet is all I would need for TV.

TheGeekNextDoor said,
Irrelevant for Dish customers with The Hopper and Prime Time Anytime. My DVR records all 4 networks during prime time and keeps those shows for 8 days. If I haven't noticed it existed by then, I don't ever plan on watching it. It is probably my favorite feature of Dish...that and using the baked in Sling tech to watch anything my DVR can watch on my tablet, PC, or phone any time in any location I want. Although, if I had no wife and kids, I would also have no satellite or cable TV. A good antenna and the Internet is all I would need for TV.

Hopper what a Joke and Genie is also a joke to for me it SageTV all the way packing 4 Tuner with room for 8+ more if I want and with NO BS time limits and it any time in any location I want for ever and best of all can add lots of space on fly and best of all I can play all my porn (Video, TV, DVD/Blu-ray), music and picture's.

There isn't any BS Time limit. It keeps all 4 channels recorded prime time as a feature. If I see something I want, I can keep it forever. I can also hook it up to an external drive and offload the shows to there. So you have the Cable Card thing all figured out to record non-antenna based and scrambled cable channels? That's cool. I'm older with a wife and kids. Using something like SageTV to manage my shows and get it dispersed so my family can watch live TV and recorded shows on 4 different TVs in the house at the same time just wouldn't be easy. I would end up having to play tech support all the time. Been there, done that with TV devices. I've got a couple of HD HomeRuns in the basement that feed a media center machine for myself. I have the entire life of the Big Bang Theory at my disposal. SageTV and the means by which it is used does not have a high WAF...Wife Acceptability Factor. When you are in your 40's you don't play that kind of game with your wife. You gain very little.

As for rips, I have an apple TV that plays them just fine. Or I can use my Western Digital TV. Once again...great for me, no WAF. Don't need the porn as I have a wife.

Won't matter to me. Despite having cable through a provider that is on the list that they will allow I'll still be getting my TV through other means with the commercials cut out and not through their streaming service, though it is nice to have a backup option.

Quote from article: "satellite customers will not be able to stream ABC content until a week after it's aired on the network."

So... this has 0 impact because you can just wait a week. This is a NON ARTICLE as a lot of stations make you wait random amounts of time to watch their shows already. That or they pull it down after a day or two, and then you have to wait again for a few weeks.

That is unless that quote is wrong?

This is not going to bother me one bit. I've come to the conclusion that over 90% of what appears on television is garbage, and I have no idea what "Agents of Shield" is.

Companies like ABC should embrace Internet distribution rather than inconvenience it. The whole concept of waiting for a specific time to watch a show and missing parts of it if you get there late or leave the room is archaic - I'm not going to pay for that.

Chugworth said,
I've come to the conclusion that over 90% of what appears on television is garbage, and I have no idea what "Agents of Shield" is.

I don't disagree with your statement, but Agents of SHIELD is a Joss Whedon show (see Firefly, Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible Singalong Blog, Much Ado About Nothing, etc), so isn't part of that 90%, IMHO. (although it started a little slow, it's been getting deeper and better now).

Solution: Grab an HDHomerun ATSC tuner, use an antenna and setup one of the many DVR programs. ABC is offered via ATSC.

"Will this move drive people back to paid services?"

I doubt that streaming from ABC is going to be a deal breaker for anyone.

If anything, it will drive those affected to seek out other means of getting any missed episodes.