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Author Topic: ABC Television Network's War on Convenience  (Read 566 times)
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wonderpug
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« on: January 07, 2014, 02:00:54 PM »



Sometime in the last week, ABC made a move in conjunction with major cable providers to block ABC .com online streaming of shows unless you log in with your television provider credentials to prove you have local access.  Though I think I read that after 8 days the content will become available even if you don't verify.

For a while now I've had the wife and I go completely kosher with regards to obtaining TV shows.  We don't have a cable TV subscription, don't have DirecTV, don't have Hulu Plus, and don't have Netflix.  For the most part it's worked fine and dandy for us.  Just about every network makes their recent episodes available on their websites, so other than some really horrid user interfaces, the addition of commercials, and limited availability for episodes other than the most recent, kosher online viewing hasn't been that bad.

But now, ABC seems to be doing everything in its power to drive us onto a pirate ship.  The wife really loves The Bachelor, which just started a new season, but with kids in the mix, it's just not possible for her to watch it live.  If our old DVR was working, we'd have no issue.  Hell, if I fired up an old VCR, we'd have no issue.

It just boggles my mind that ABC thinks that watching TV from their website is an affront to their way of business life.  Not only are we watching their commercials, we're giving them a way of tracking our viewing habits instead of just invisibly watching from over-the-air tv or from a pirate ship.  Do the ABC decision-makers have any clue how quick and easy it would be for someone to watch their shows from a pirate ship instead of dealing with this?!

Oh, and from daring to look at some of the comments in articles about this, even some people with paid subscriptions to tv access are now dealing with this restriction, since not every cable or satellite provider joined ABC's bandwagon.  One comment I saw claimed that there was even a major provider in NYC that wasn't part of the club.
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Soulchilde
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 02:16:09 PM »

Expect to see NBC, CBS and Fox  jump on this bandwagon. 
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Mystic95Z
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 02:21:24 PM »

And they wonder why people torrent their content....
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 04:48:10 PM »

I know the pain Pug.  also going the no-provider route and sticking with streaming, netflix and Amazon Prime.  I'm basically cut off from many tv shows and rather than go down the Yarr, Matey! route, we've basically stopped watching any recent episodes of tv shows.  if there were options for ala carte/season pass viewing of shows, the various networks would easily get my money.  but I'm not going to pay comcast or some other cable company for a bucket of tv that I will never watch or be interested in watching. 
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Ironrod
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 10:54:05 PM »

My cable company is Braintree Electric Light Department. I don't know what kind of credentials that's going to give me with ABC.

This strikes me as one of those self-defeating moves that's going to quietly disappear after it reduces their audience. At least, I hope so. I very rarely watch TV on my computer, but when I do go looking for something (like the season finale of S.H.I.E.L.D that I missed a few weeks ago) I expect it to be available from its owner without cost or bullshit.

I am an American. I deserve free entertainment!  icon_lol
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EddieA
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 11:45:23 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on January 07, 2014, 02:16:09 PM

Expect to see NBC, CBS and Fox  jump on this bandwagon. 

Fox has been doing this for quite a while.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 02:51:54 AM »

Quote from: EddieA on January 07, 2014, 11:45:23 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on January 07, 2014, 02:16:09 PM

Expect to see NBC, CBS and Fox  jump on this bandwagon. 

Fox has been doing this for quite a while.

Really? I guess that shows how many Fox shows I've been into. Do they have the same list of cable providers as in my screenshot above?
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 04:33:55 AM »

Hmm, Fox shows are available on free Hulu (not Plus) and you definitely don't have to prove you have cable to use that.  I've also watched ABC shows on Hulu, so I'm assuming (hoping) those continue to be available there as well.
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EddieA
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 09:48:52 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 08, 2014, 02:51:54 AM

Quote from: EddieA on January 07, 2014, 11:45:23 PM

Quote from: Soulchilde on January 07, 2014, 02:16:09 PM

Expect to see NBC, CBS and Fox  jump on this bandwagon. 

Fox has been doing this for quite a while.

Really? I guess that shows how many Fox shows I've been into. Do they have the same list of cable providers as in my screenshot above?

They have a list of about 30 providers here.
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 04:18:30 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 07, 2014, 02:00:54 PM

Do the ABC decision-makers have any clue how quick and easy it would be for someone to watch their shows from a pirate ship instead of dealing with this?!

Nope. Not at all.

Yes, they're that stupid.
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 04:27:44 PM »

Comcast has screwed up my fiance's (and thus my) login info, so I'm currently unable to use ESPN and ABC and all the other online stuff I need to login to use.  yay
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wonderpug
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 04:43:37 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on January 08, 2014, 04:18:30 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on January 07, 2014, 02:00:54 PM

Do the ABC decision-makers have any clue how quick and easy it would be for someone to watch their shows from a pirate ship instead of dealing with this?!

Nope. Not at all.

Yes, they're that stupid.

And I'm just talking about the simple act of searching for show on a pirate ship and getting it in 5-10 minutes or less.  A friend of mine has the full-bore pirate fleet solution that automatically searches for and downloads everything without him lifting a finger.  It's just all ready for him in pretty little categories, TiVo style.
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rittchard
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 12:54:18 AM »

So I take it an over the air antenna is not an option for you?

Or.... Aereo?

https://www.aereo.com/


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rshetts2
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 08:35:38 PM »

the sense of entitlement is strong in  this one  icon_wink  Quite a few on the networks have been delaying internet streaming of episodes.  This is nothing new.  Crying about the injustice of having to wait a week seems like a real 1st world problem to me.  This is about holding onto cable and satellite revenue streams and as a business it makes perfect sense.  I honestly dont like it myself as I have Directv and the winter storm killed my signal on tuesday.  I missed Agents of Shield and Directv is not one of the streaming authorized providers yet.   I signed up for a free month of Hulu plus and streamed it there, problem solved. I was recently OTA and internet only for my TV entertainment but refuse to pirate anything so when networks started doing the delay thing I eventually decided to go with the convenience of satellite Tv once again.  Which is I am sure, exactly as they hoped for.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 11:08:26 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on January 09, 2014, 12:54:18 AM

So I take it an over the air antenna is not an option for you?

Or.... Aereo?

https://www.aereo.com/

I've used over-the-air HD for years (never had a paid cable/satellite subscription) but now with kids it's just not possible to watch tv shows live unless Elmo is involved.  A DVR would solve our issue just fine (or even a VCR!) but our homebrew DVR has been out of commission for a few years now.  Lack of DVR hadn't been an issue since streaming off the network websites worked fine enough.

I hadn't heard of Areo until it was mentioned in the OO version of this thread.  It looks pretty darn compelling but unfortunately it's not available in my area.

Most likely I'm just going to get my DVR working again and recording the OTA broadcasts.  Now we'll be skipping all commercials--mission accomplished, network execs?

Quote from: rshetts2 on January 09, 2014, 08:35:38 PM

the sense of entitlement is strong in  this one  icon_wink  Quite a few on the networks have been delaying internet streaming of episodes.  This is nothing new.  Crying about the injustice of having to wait a week seems like a real 1st world problem to me.  This is about holding onto cable and satellite revenue streams and as a business it makes perfect sense.  I honestly dont like it myself as I have Directv and the winter storm killed my signal on tuesday.  I missed Agents of Shield and Directv is not one of the streaming authorized providers yet.   I signed up for a free month of Hulu plus and streamed it there, problem solved. I was recently OTA and internet only for my TV entertainment but refuse to pirate anything so when networks started doing the delay thing I eventually decided to go with the convenience of satellite Tv once again.  Which is I am sure, exactly as they hoped for.

Thanks for the winky, because the "you're entitled" thing really ruffles my feathers.  I am trying to have ABC show me their tv shows in exchange for me watching their commercials and giving them ad revenue.  They also get a download hit of me watching their show instead of me just being an untrackable over-the-air watcher.  I am trying to do this even though there's a pirate ship available just a few feet away that would let me watch their shows in higher resolution, commercial-free, after a 5 minute download.

Oh, and I agree that for most shows it's really not a big deal to have to wait 8 days.  I usually don't get around to watching sitcoms and such until weeks (or years) after they air.  But this came up because The Wife tried to watch the season premiere of The Bachelor.  Because of the way the ladyfolk talk about this show, it's more like making someone wait a week to watch the World Series.

I've never had a subscription for cable or satellite, and this change isn't going to make me start.  I'll just be resurrecting the DVR, and again begin skipping all commercials.  For this family of consumers, the networks are now making less money off of us.  But since this shift made you resubscribe to DirecTV, I suppose we cancel each other out.  icon_wink
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rshetts2
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 02:47:00 AM »

The other issue for me was a transfer to 2nd shift at work.  I was missing a lot of stuff I wanted to watch because I was limited to a couple of shows recorded at any given time slot.  I decided that the convenience was worth the cost at that point.   
Thanks for understanding the "entitlement" thing was a joke.  I believe youre entitled to view TV how you choose and hate the games they play with the various streaming sources, especially when its a stream of OTA free programming, but again I also understand the business aspect of the whole thing and accept that it is what it is and the final control of that lies in the hands of the networks. 
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wonderpug
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 03:06:59 AM »

As for the business side, I do get that, but it boggles my mind how slow the networks are going in embracing the modern era.  I feel like even the music industry didn't take this long.  Even companies that do get how internet tv consumption can and will be monetized (Netflix, Hulu) get held up by network asshattery.  There's no reason we can't have all the convenience of Steam applied to the tv world, and there's plenty of money to be had with a model like that. 
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