As the Wall Street Journal reports, Fox and ABC are set to launch “The Great Free TV Pullback of 2011,” as of yesterday, when Fox announced previously reported plans to “keep its new shows off the Web for eight days, except for Hulu Plus and Dish Network subscribers.”
Disney’s ABC network is now planning on doing the same.
While Disney “hasn’t formally commented on its plans for “authentication” for ABC broadcast shows on ABC.com and Hulu,” ABC CEO Bob Iger explained the difficulties of sharing the distribution of content via cable providers as well as Netflix/ Hulu—which is really the crux of the matter, as cable providers are grumbling at the prospect of content being immediately available online, drawing away customers.
“The relationship that we have with the distributors is a very valuable one, and it’s one that we aim to respect by both protecting what we currently have and determining or figuring out ways that we can expand on it.”
“Our overall approach of late has been to make deals that increase revenue, while at the same time, protect and respect basically the multichannel or the channel distribution value that we see today. So, we’re looking at deals that are largely library in nature, meaning very little if any content that would be in season, mostly prior season. But also, trying to build into at least some of these deals, some form of authentication, [that] … will allow access to our programming faster or in a more aggressive window, if the customer is a multichannel subscriber.”
“You are right in your assessment that we’ll basically push the window back or make access to the programming more difficult or later, except if customers are authenticated as a subscriber.”
Look, TV networks, all I ask is that Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Office be instantly streaming online the second they hit the air. That’s all I ask. Sure, that might be expense or difficult, but I promise I’ll be your best friend if you make it happen.
What do you think of the “pullback” deal?