Why You Can’t Watch ABC Online

I cut the cord with cable a long time ago.  It’s been a great experience for me, and an amazing money saver to boot.  I wrote about how to cut the cord with cable and how I’m using my Roku and PlayOn TV to watch the shows I want to see.  While it isn’t perfect and doesn’t cover every network and every show, it covers everything I care about except some sports.  Not anymore.  The online streaming of ABC changed on January 6, and now you need to sign in to your cable provider to watch new shows.

ABC has changed the rules of streaming their shows. Here's wat you need to know.

I have a major philosophical issue with this, as ABC is network television and meant to be free tv.  When you stream ABC, you have to watch commercials.  In fact, you watch a lot of commercials.  There are six commercial breaks in an hour long show, one before the show starts and five throughout the episode, and you cannot fast forward through them or change apps on your tablet or phone to avoid them.  You’re pretty much forced to watch them, unlike when I used to use my VCR to tape show or even my DVR where I could fast forward.

Streaming has 6 commercial breaks per hour show

Apparently ABC has decided that they aren’t making enough money from the commercials, and now you have to have an affiliation with an approved cable provider to stream new ABC shows.  Whether it’s because they can’t charge enough per viewing of the commercials online or their shows cost too much to make and license or some other problem altogether, address that root cause.  This is not the answer.  Within two days, ABC’s iOS app already had over 3,000 one star reviews.  They updated it to fix some (not insignificant) bugs, and already there are almost 1,500 1 star reviews compared to 14 five star reviews.  That should tell you something there.

My personal opinion aside, this is the reality at the moment.  ABC is following the trend of Fox and CBS in making this change, as Fox has long required you to provide you cable provider to watch recent shows (but I’ll be honest, there aren’t any Fox shows I watch, so I sort of hadn’t cared).  CBS has been late to the game in providing online streaming, and again there aren’t any CBS shows I’m interested in watching  primarily because they haven’t streamed shows in the past.  While CBS doesn’t require you (yet) to have a cable subscription, they simply don’t load shows to their app until a week has passed, which is essentially the same result.  NBC, however, still keeps free tv as free tv for all, not just those who are (over?)paying for cable with select providers.  For now.  You know it’s a matter of time, right?

ABC?  If you’re listening, I have a message for you.  There are some shows that I’m willing to wait to watch, but not many.  And those are only the shows that I currently watch and love, which is down to four (yep, just four) right now.  Three I’ll wait to watch, but the fourth?  Nope.  So that means you just lost a viewer.  When they go off the air, I won’t be searching for new ABC shows to replace them.  I’ll find other ways to spend my time, and that’s fewer eyeballs you’ll have anywhere.  You can’t stop the tide of change.  People simply don’t sit down on a Thursday night to watch live television anymore.  More and more of us are cutting the cord with cable for a variety of reasons.  If you want to retain a fraction of your viewership, this is a decision you need to seriously revisit.

So what’s up with the new ABC app?  I’ve been exploring and testing and playing with it for awhile, and I at least have some answers to what you can and can’t do.

Can I just not update the Watch ABC app and keep watching my shows?
Nope.  When you open the app anytime after January 6, you are given the message that this version of the app is no longer supported and that you have to update the app.  You can either choose to not update it and simply not stream ABC anymore, or you can update it with the new restrictions.

If I don’t have cable, can I watch nothing?
Fortunately, no.  I have a feeling there would be some regulatory involvement if the networks made all their shows pay only.  Shows are available for select cable subscribers the day after they air.  They are then available to everyone one week after they air.  So if you’re up for watching Grey’s Anatomy seven days after it airs, you can still do so.

ABC shows less than a week old require verification to watch

How do I know what I can view if I don’t have an approved cable plan?
When you open the app and view the television shows, episodes that are in their “protected period” will have a bar across them “VERIFY TO VIEW.”  If you click on one, it will ask you to sign in with an approved cable subscription.  These shows will also list how long until the protected period expires so you know when you can come back to watch it without a subscription.

The show I want to watch is expiring soon.  That’s not fair!
From what I can see, shows will be uploaded for streaming twice.  The protected period upload will have the one week countdown and the verified requirement.  Once that period has passed, the episode will be pulled and reuploaded with for streaming accessible to everyone.  Those shows will have no notifications on them, and they don’t state when they will expire.  Typically, five episodes (including the protected viewing episodes, if any) are available at any given time, but sometimes there are fewer or (rarely) more.

If I have cable, am I set to watch just like I did before?
Only if you are lucky enough to live where the cable provider has partnered with ABC.  Right now, only some providers are participating, though this may change going forward.  For ABC, if you have a cable subscription with AT&T U-verse, Charter, Cox, Google fiber, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, Verizon FiOS, or Xfinity, you are set.  If you have any other provider, you’re out of luck.  That includes major cable providers like Time Warner, as well as Dish and Direct TV.

Cable partners that will allow you to watch ABC online

How do I log in if I have a subscription with one of the participating cable providers?
Click on any episode that has VIEW TO VERIFY on it.  That will take you to the list of cable partners.  Select your cable provider, which will open a new page where you enter your credentials.  Once you’ve signed in, it should take you back to the show you wanted to view and keep you logged in going forward.  That said, it doesn’t (yet) work perfectly.  You may need to close the app and reopen it before it accepts your login.

Sign in to your cable account to watch ABC shows online

If I stream television via Roku or Apple TV, can I watch ABC protected view episodes?
Yes… and no.  If you had access to ABC streaming to your television via a third party provider previously, you may be able to.  If you subscribe to Hulu+, you can still watch the recent episodes you’ve subscribed to, for example.  If you watch them using Hulu without upgrading (which I do – or did), you can sign in to your AT&T U-verse, Cox, Optimum, or Verizon and watch current episodes.  Not that Comcast’s Xfinity is not on that list, though it is a partner with the Watch ABC app, which means that I’m out of luck.  PlayOn TV does not currently have a way to provide a username and password for a cable provider to allow you to access those channels, though that coding may change going forward.  There are other channels where PlayOn TV is already set up to allow login access.

If I don’t have an approved cable subscription, can I still watch my daily shows?
Here lies a big flaw in the setup.  Daily shows like The View or General Hospital are protected for seven days, just like other shows.  And typically, only five episodes are retained at a time.  If you don’t have a cable subscription, the episodes are completely deleted before the protected period is over, and you are out of luck.

Daily shows on ABC expire before you can watch them if you don't subscribe to cable

The message?  Television is currently trying to maintain the status quo.  They want people to watch shows live.  They want the current cable empire to continue as is.  That isn’t where the world is moving, and ABC’s online streaming is just the latest fallout as networks and other companies navigate the constantly changing landscape.  Will this stick?  I sincerely hope not, but it’s what we have to deal with today.

Want change?  Speak up.  Talk to ABC.  Talk to regulators.  Talk to your cable company.  Make noise and make your voice heard.  I’ve seen and heard from so many people who have simply deleted the ABC app and won’t be watching the network at all, and those are the kinds of actions that speak loudest because they affect companies in the pocketbook when they don’t get ad revenue from the eyeballs that aren’t watching their streaming shows.




  1. While I love this post 100% as I fellow cable cutter, and was steaming ALL WEEK, my cbs ap doesn’t require cable verification. I’m just glad they put General Hospital on Hulu plus. They spent all week saying it was on Hulu Plus and it wasn’t and then it finally was.

    Also, my mom has a valid cable provider and says she can’t event get the ap to work!

    You should really watch the Good Wife on CBS. It is a fantastic show.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. That was sloppy writing on my part. CBS doesn’t require you to sign in, but they don’t upload shows until a week has passed from the air date, which essentially puts their shows into the same category of delay – though at least they aren’t making it a have/have-not thing depending on your cable situation.

      The app wasn’t working properly the first few days it was out, but the new update (1/10) improved some of those bugs like the sign in issues. She should be able to get in now.

      Hulu+ definitely helps some people, but… I don’t subscribe even to Hulu+, so I’m still out of luck there. Fortunately, I don’t watch that one, but for people who do, it’s a half solution at least.

      • I watch CBS shows like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Person of Interest and How I Met Your Mother and they are all online the day after they air!

        CBS did once wait a week, but that’s a long time ago!

        I do however not know if some shows are different, but these shows are available online (at least on the web page) within the next day!

        I too hate this cable issue and I do hope CBS doesn’t change!

        • There is a difference between what is available on the CBS website and streaming via an app. There are some shows that are available immediately after they air on the CBS app, but not all. Two Broke Girls, for example, has the 1/20 episode on the website, but 1/13 episode is the most recent on on the CBS app. I know I’m not alone in tending to watch from my tablet or phone rather than my computer, which is where the challenge comes in.

  2. Very well written,
    I am planning on cutting the cord here very soon. This still does not discourage me.
    I think the cable companies and networks have teamed up to try to hold on to what control they still have left.
    My family does not watch television live anymore, it is to inconvenient. I do not mind commercials but I am not paying for a subscription service that has you watch commercials (even if the commercials are catered to your liking). Not to mention the Subscription service is owned by the television networks and some cable companies.

    If it means waiting 7 days oh well, if it is taken down before that I will just stop watching that show. I love television entertainment but if a network or networks are going to make it more difficult to watch their content. They are losing me for current shows that I watch and any future shows they produce.

    Thanks again for such a great article. So full of information.

    • Thank you, Dale! I hope that it helps, and I am with you on the paying for subscription services. I actually don’t subscribe even to Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu+ and can watch everything I “need” to. I think the part so many companies are missing is that their product isn’t NECESSARY, and by increasing the difficulty in obtaining it, they simply are losing customers rather than getting more money for their product. Too many of us won’t pay it.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I am one of those many ABC supporters who is now completely frustrated due to the GIANT leap backward they have taken.

    One thing you stated was that ABC does not obtain enough money from their commercials for streaming online content and, although that may be true, a few years ago this station and ALL of its content was free with rabbit ears and there were commercials all the same. Then the whole ‘HD’ content came around and more people purchased cable subscription service. Lately, as the baby boomer generation is starting to die out and the next generation is rising, the number of individuals in their 20s – early 30s who actually pay for TV subscription is at a record low.

    The problem with this is the cable companies are biting their nails and have become so desperate that they began to charge the studios more money to broadcast their content (Subscriptions lowered so price for the studios, as well as the consumer, went up).

    Recently the whole networks dropping themselves out of the network of subscription service providers was an attempt at lowering the cost they have to fork out for the network to air their content. That essentially back-fired on ABC because the networks just simply told them they have to take down their free content online in order to lower their rates. ABC complied and now they are able to pay less to deliver their content.

    Who gets to suffer because of this move? The consumer…. you and I. It’s highly unfortunate to see ABC joining the network bandwagon and screwing millions of viewers over.

    For the record, I WILL NEVER PAY FOR TV…. EVER! I am the next generation and we demand our TV shows back.

    • I’m with you, Mike (obviously).

      I actually stated that *whether* it’s because they don’t earn enough from commercials or… my point there was that their solution to whichever way they choose to look at the problem isn’t the right way to resolve it. If you increase your costs, your revenues by necessity won’t be sufficient. There needs to be a shift change in many industries with regards to expecting customers to simply keep paying more, and television is just one of these. Sports? I can’t afford to take my family to a hockey or football game. Movies? It’s no longer a “hey let’s go tomorrow” thing because tickets are $10 a pop, even for kids because “matinees” have been completely redefined by many theaters. And the list goes on. I’m making different choices, and I know I’m not the only one.

      • Yeah, I understand that you were speculating the reasons why the studios are doing what they are doing. I was informing you of the real reasons behind it.

        Take ABC Studios, then their own network owned by Disney… Disney bargains their station to the cable company. The cable company states that Disney needs to pay more money now in order for ABC to continue outputting their content. Disney gets upset and says “to hell with you.” They back out until the cable company wants to be reasonable. Then, the cable company turns it around and says *in a whiny voice* “But, but, but…… you guys are streaming tv shows the day after they air so more and more people are not paying us money to watch tv *sob*……… (evil scheme) Now you have to take that luxury away from the people, we will lower your cost to us, then we together will take away from the people!!! MWWAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

        Ok, so I have a bit of an imagination… the unfortunate part about that is that it is the truth. Any way, going forward, the day a big studio completely backs out from the cable companies and transfers their content 100% online will be the day that I am happy. I mean, think about it… the studio charges $0.50 per episode of each show they own and VOILÀ! they are now making more money as a studio franchise and there is no more need for the middle man any more; which ultimately pans out to be less cost to the consumer! It’s a Win-Win-Lose situation! (with the losing going to the greedy and self-serving cable company)

        So yeah, I am going to be incredibly happy when either a major sports network or a news/tv show broadcast company chooses to lead the way into the future of online streaming.

        Not too mention, I will be one of the first individuals to purchase an Ultra HD tv that comes out with full computation features in it (essentially an all-in-one TV, computer, media center, etc). Get cracking Apple! :)

        • Wow that’s a lot of info. Thanks for the detail behind all this. I knew some of it, but… the business model is so messed up. I love your creativity in the personalities you shared. And YES – how fun will it be when you can truly choose what you want to watch and only pay for that. MLB.tv is a start – and we subscribe – but it’s just a start! I have full confidence that it will come one day.

        • ExtortionIsBadMkay says:

          Yes, definitely. Thanks for the info, Mike. Your suggestion of $0.50 per episode… I would do that! That comes out to less than $10/month.

          Currently, I use… other… “non-approved” sites to stream my shows. I pay nothing, and I can usually see my shows the day after they air.

    • I am the older generation and I do not pay for TV and I won’t. Most of my friends have cut the cord also. We just have way better things to do with our lives and money than to pay for TV. I hope that the entertainment world remembers that there was a time when TV didn’t exist and people got along just fine without it. It’s actually better for families and friends to have time together without the interruption of mindless TV. This will backfire on them, less people willing to pay equals less people seeing their advertisements equals less control on our purchasing power and less control on influencing people to go with the latest trends.

      • Laura,

        Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately this is not the case with the older generation. Statistically speaking, the baby boomers are what is keeping cable alive. And by cable I mean the current standard of television viewing (cable, satellite, etc). The PROBLEM with this is that they (baby boomers) are not going to die off for another 15 – 20 years, which is highly unfortunate for those of us who don’t even have a television… let alone a ‘cable’ subscription. We young people have quickly adapted and figured out that paying for cable is quite possibly the dumbest thing one could possibly ever do. And for the percentage of people who say they pay to watch sports…. go buy an antenna… all those games are broadcast over the air too… just like the “good ‘ol days”. It costs like $30 on amazon and you get to watch all the sports your heart desires.

        Again, Laura I am not bashing you. I really appreciate that you have seen the light and have cut the cord. Unfortunately you are a VERY small percentage of the older generation. I fear we are going to have to wait another 10 years until cable subscriptions dwindle enough for content delivery to change the game up.

        Oh and back to the topic at hand… Disney / ABC frankly couldn’t care less about people watching their content via the web. The executives (baby boomers) are SO far behind the times that they are holding on to cable due to the fact that they receive FAR more revenue streams through the cable companies still. It’s a sad truth, and unfortunately those of us who don’t pay for content are just going to have to sit back, pirate, watch shows a week later, and wait until they get their act together.

        • Wrong. The older generation is not the problem. There is so much trash on tv now. Most of the older generation do not want to watch it. I am the older generation and I don’t pay for trash. I do Netflix because I can watch Andy Griffin, Bonanza, etc. Clean shows so that I will not be embarrassed if my grandchildren walk in the room. Even a lot of the commercials now are trash.

  4. totally agree…
    I pulled the plug on cable in 2008 and never looked back since. It really is hard to describe to a person that is stuck on tv how much extra free time you have when you aren’t chained to tv anymore. I watch whatever I like via Netflix or iOS apps.

    I really loved “The neighbors” and both “Once Upon A Time” shows on abc and hope I can continue to view them. Otherwise they are going the way of Sci Fi (SyFy) which is down the drain (deleted). I never went back after they ended “Alphas, Warehouse13 and Eureka” because they said they cost to much to make! I loved those shows, reality tv is getting old and boring. I wonder if this is the medias rebuttle to google chrome cast being released so that everybody can have an affordable streaming options on thier tv also.
    What is up with the networks lately they are all really beginning to suck… I have turned to watching some foreign shows, I like to read the subtitles. It’s funny to catch it when they copy American shows and make new movies out of them.

    • Thanks, Ginny. I love when people agree with me 😉

      You definitely have so much extra time when you aren’t tied to the tv. It’s nice. The only downside is that when I’m “bored” I don’t have shows to catch up on, but that’s what Pandora is for! I adore Once Upon a Time (though not the new version, much as I wanted to like it), and I can still watch it a week later now. That’s one of the shows I’m ok not watching immediately. But I am NOT looking for new shows on ABC the way things are.

      I adore foreign shows, too. And English movies dubbed into other languages. There is so much out there – cable is definitely not needed!

  5. Thanks for the info Michelle!

  6. I get free cable at my condo complex but the company they use is not listed. I have AT&T U-Verse internet and was able to use my login to get access to my shows. If you have internet from one of the verified companies you may be able to get access.

    • Now that’s fascinating! You aren’t “supposed” to be able to get access from your Internet subscription alone, but I wonder if there’s a glitch in the system that is allowing that to work. Awesome for you if it is, and I’d love to hear if others have tried the same solution and gotten it to work. I’ll cross my fingers for you that this loophole doesn’t get closed at some point.

  7. Last fall on Dance Moms via Lifetime was the first time I had seen this cable verification process. I couldn’t watch anything current that season.
    This Winter season, they only lock them after a few weeks. So right now you can view the current last 2 shows, but not the first anymore.
    Hopefully, this won’t work for ABC for long either???

    • We’ll . I understand a cable verification process when it’s streaming actual cable shows – at least the ones the networks don’t *already* have available to anyone on their websites – but the network side of things really bothers me. I’ll be interested to see the reaction from ABC a few months down the line. I’m not optimistic, but I have my fingers crossed along with you.

  8. I agree! I haven’t ever had cable and therefore would not have a cable account. Watching shows is like my lifeline for me when I get to stressed out with college stuff and having to wait a week is not cool! I have to point out, though, that CBS has gotten better with putting their shows online. The shows are usually up the next day and you don’t have to sign-in, so I’ve started watching more and more CBS shows. Hopefully ABC will change this ridiculousness, but it’s probably unlikely.
    Thanks again for the great article!

    • Yes, some CBS shows have changed – mostly the daily shows, from what I’ve seen. The primetime shows seem to still be a week delay before being uploaded, however. I’ll have to go check them out again. I wonder if they’ve changed THEIR policy to some degree to capitalize on the changes ABC has made. Now *that* would be smart marketing.

  9. It’s frustrating! I need to watch my shows! Found this post while searching for updates on ABC shows. Loved this post!!

  10. Such a good review!

  11. What about families who live in the country and have an outdoor antennae? This handle seems fair.

    • It isn’t just people in the country who have outdoor antennae. I choose not to have cable and use my antenna. I’m with you, and we’re not alone!

  12. I canceled my $120 a month Comcast / Infinity bill last year and have been casting my favorite shows using the network websites and Google Chromecast. So with ABC’s new policy, I have found that all I have to do is plug in a neighbor or friend’s username & password for their TV provider and then I can still watch the ABC shows 24 hrs later. If your PC won’t let you put in someone else’s ID’s, just delete your history, then go back and enter their info (it works).

    • Technically, you could do this, but it isn’t something that I’m comfortable doing – and I wouldn’t share my password with a neighbor either. This doesn’t really solve the issue but rather kicks the can down the road. Me? I want to see true change and solutions.

  13. I think they would be better served if we could pay for an ABC/ABC family subscription. I would be willing to pay a small fee a month to watch my shows, but Cable takes my bill from 0-$98… No thank you!

    • Frustrating, isn’t it? I know there are many who would be willing to pay for that. I’m not willing to pay for network shows, but cable shows? Absolutely!

      • Mona Mobley says:

        Thank you for your post. Evidently ABC is wanting to lose customers. I too cut the strings and just use an antenna. I went in today to catch yesterday’s GH and found out I can watch it in one week….great, that’s a big help. I’ll just catch it today … really not that big a deal, but I’m sick of us with less getting bilked by the big service providers. They started charging to read my local paper online too, so I proceeded to sit down and contact all their advertisers, asking them if they weren’t paying the paper enough money in advertising for them to let us “poor folk” read. You have to protest to get things done….or at least attempt to get them done. Excellent post thought, thanks for sharing. Guess time to catch up on House of Cards on Net Flix. :) Thanks for your time.

  14. While I don’t watch a lot of the current shows, one that I always fit into my schedule is ABC’s The Goldbergs. I watch it during its normal time slot and set the DVR in the event that I am not home. However, one of my friends loves the show and does not have a DVR. She missed last week’s episode and has to wait until Wednesday (01/29) before it is available since one of the main cable providers isn’t listed (Suddenlink).

    Why is it that 8 days is the time frame they allow before a non-verified account can watch the content online? Why not just wait 24-48 hours? On the other hand, had this been a brand new show, without any following, the network runs the risk of people who are not cable subscribers forgetting about a show all together if they have to week 8 days. Interestingly enough, TV Land’s content is online now without any additional verification required. I would have thought Viacom would have done something like this but as of yet they have not.

    Although I am generally able to watch The Goldbergs during its first run broadcast, if I am out of town or the DVR doesn’t work, I would also like to have an alternative to watch the show. Ultimately, I think ABC will have to re-adjust and fine tune this plan if they want it to work long term.

    • I think another commenter earlier clarified it beautifully. It’s all about the money, sadly. That said, I do feel like this is going to backfire, as the tide has turned already against traditional tv watching and cable is starting to see enough of a loss in subscribers, as well, that this will have an impact on how many people watch ABC as a network (I hope?). Ultimately, I agree with you. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later!

  15. Okay so I don’t have hulu plus (do have a hulu account) and i went to ABCfamily trying to watch episodes that Aired Weeks ago. Not just a week ago but weeks ago. Im just wondering why i can no longer have access to these shows (i watch on my laptop). Maybe you can provide some insight. Specifically I’m referring to a show Pretty Little liars. There is an episode that aired on 1/07/14 yet it still ask me to provide cable information to watch it. I am very confused! Any insight?

  16. Hi, So I have a question as I am new to this whole roku thing.
    So, I am trying to watch dance moms on lifetime and I have to sign in to watch, but when I do it says user unauthorized, I have also cancelled my cable, so is that why it will not allow me to watch the latest episode???
    Thanks for any advise/help

  17. Deb Gunsch says:

    Follow the money trail. Just like everything else.. Why do many teachers and the NEA hate homeschool families and private school families, they pull money out of the PS system. Why do congressmen vote the way they do? B/C they have to answer to their real constituents, the people who pay them (lobbyists) so they can get reelected. WHy did ABC push it back a week? Cable companies are losing too much business to the web and want people to have to wait. American’s are such instantaneous whiners that if we can’t watch our stupid tv show right now, we might give up and order Cable for some ridiculous amount of money each month… All part of the American dream.

  18. michelle mink says:
  19. What a morbid surprise I just got! It is 3:36 am, I have completed my homework and thought that I would relax with an episode of General Hospital only to find out the ABC has teamed up with “pay for your subscription companies”. This sucks! I study hard all week, sometimes all month long and the minute I decide to enjoy a little bit of my time I find out that I cannot. Well CBS, here I come.
    Network television viewing should be free…

  20. So, what’s to stop me from using somebody else’s login I.D.? If they’re willing to share it, of course.

    • Right now, nothing, although I’ve read that the powers that be are looking to limit how often and where a login can be used. It’s not the route I’m pursuing, as I’d rather fix the issue entirely rather than put a Band Aid on it. And … it’s not the right thing to do.

  21. I totally agree with you. They have lost me two eyes too. I have lost two hours of my time trying to figure out why the videos would be frizzing at a certain point.
    Thanks for your info.

    • So sorry to hear about it not working well for you. Good news? There’s plenty of great content out there that doesn’t require you to jump through these hoops!

  22. I find it even more ridiculous that I am steaming through my internet provider – not my cable provider. My internet provider is att uverse and yet I’m not authorized. And what’s the point of on demand when they don’t bother to update it for days. I’m beyond irritated.

  23. I have “Grey’s anatomy” on demand, but my subscriber takes forever to post it. I have blue ridge cable. I got caught up last season by watching on demand, and I started watching it well into the season so I’m not sure when they are posted on there. I missed the newest episode, because I work third shift and I was sleeping. I thought I could catch it online, but I found this stupid login required. I entered my subscriber, but it still wouldn’t let me watch it. I guess it thinks i don’t have abc on demand. I do it is just really slow at updating….ugh how frustrating.

  24. ABC has definitely lost a viewer in me. I will gladly pay my money to Netflix each month. Paying for regular TV streaming isn’t what I’m about. I figured when we were forced to go digital, it would be a long term problem. That alone, has completely stopped me from watching regular TV. I was find with watching TV a day to several days late on the internet. But paying for it….NO WAY!

  25. I love to cut my cord. I understand where abc is going with this. they found that everyone is online streaming free episodes. Not paying 2.99 episode on itunes. is like J.K Rowling give millions of Harry Potter books for free 1-7. Then how does she makes money that where abc found out. It will be great for abc to limit there online series. If you want this episodes Itunes. Hulu nope, Netflix 1 year after. But if they want to keep the series running for a long time. They need to send us to Itunes and pay or buy whole season pass. For me if i see a show cancel in season 1 not watching it, 2 season cant reach pass if it goes for 4 season i will keep watching it or buy it.

  26. Theresa says:

    While I recognize the “need” for cable networks to do this in order to ensure their viewers are paying for cable services, I was shocked to find that abc does also. I cut cable tv a while ago, opting instead to use an antenna, roku & the cpmuter. I can watch abc for free on my tv, why force me to buy cable to stream episodes on my kindle? So much for choice in a so-called market driven economy.

  27. I was paying for cable in the apartment that I lived in for just $45.00 a month. The apartment owners had some kind a deal with the cable company. I paid faithfully for years. Then I tried to get advanced cable (HBO, ENCORE, STARS, ect…) which was an extra $79.00 or so. It got to much because I was paying extra. So I ended the advanced cable and decided to keep the apartments cable. With the new changes to cable the apartments didn’t want to do it anymore because it was confusing them and the costomers. So everyone who wanted cable had to go thru the cable company. I got cable and they billed people a month advanced. That means you have two bills in one month. Remind you now you will have late fees, but I was never late. They charge me late fees. I talk to them (Cable company) and they know that they charged you a month in advanced, but they don’t tell you and they all lie and say they will help you. No help!!!! So you try to change your cable plan and they charge you again in advance thats doubles the bill. I got tired of paying to much money. So for two months I paid less (more than you think). I can’t stand the cable company. There ripping people off. Is there anyway to fight them? I don’t have cable now it’s been three days. I have Apple tv, Hulu Plus and Netflix. Also some other channels. I think I’m going to have to get another appletv for my kids. How do you get live football and football coverage?

  28. Jenny Balisle says:

    Thanks for your article!
    I started a petition asking ABC to reinstate free next day online streaming for viewers. Here’s the link:
    Take good care,

  29. I got idea wont take long for advertisers to get upset and demand change.

    boycott the stations that do this.

    I dont watch NBC anymore since everytime I get interested in a show they drop it. I have watched several that they drop, so I got fed up with them. I guess I do the same with ABC, sadly I like resurrection and its in the 3rd week :(

  30. Jeff Coulter says:

    I appreciate your essay. It explains why I can’t keep up with Scandal so that I will have something to talk about with my sister. I liked the show, but if I miss one, it’s hell to figure out what’s going on if I have to wait until the next episode has aired before I can watch the one I missed, so I have a suggestion: quit wasting time having your brain filled with the fluff and propaganda hidden in plain sight in TV dramas. It’s all a mind f**k anyway and we’d be better off reading a book or watching a documentary. If we all boycotted this crap the networks would have to rethink their policies.

  31. Hello,

    It is all about greed. Disney owns ABC and I think the billions are not enough for them.
    Greed, greed and greedy corp.

  32. Lifetime just did this. I was watching shows freely on one week and then found those same show locksed a week later. It’s so annoying, especially since I live with my parents and don’t pay the cable bill.

    NBC, ABC, and CBS aren’t even “cable” channels. Those are network stations. I’d get them even if I ddidn’t have cable…They’ve got some nerve. I watch my shows on couchtuner…you can get uploads the next day for free!! They don’t have reality shows tho =(

  33. Thanks for your great explanation as to why we can no longer watch ABC online. I am able to watch NBC and CBS tv shows and thank these 2 networks for making their programming available for those who are not able to watch or record the shows when they are aired. I hope they do not follow ABC’s lead on this. Last year when I tried to watch ABS onlne, it had so many commercials and interruptions, I gave up- even though it was free at the time.
    I subscribe to Dish Network and apparently you can only watch ABC if you subscribe to Comcast (Xfinity) or some other cable service. Unfair.

  34. Nicely written, and thank you for doing so. I hope ABC is reading. Like you, as old shows are discontinued, I turn to other networks (e.g., the CW) or netflix to fill those gaps, rather than explore ABC. Today, what brought me to your site was a google search for why ABCfamily won’t allow me to view ANY of the episodes (even those several weeks old) of Switched At Birth. Not sure what’s going on there. And funny I cannot find anything on that specifically. Either way, there are plenty of other shows out there, and who has time for piddly, time-wasting run-around to access it? One more ABC show I am saying goodbye to. C’est la vie.

  35. I understand your pain! I am angry with ABC and this crazy APP! I miss Soapnet! I could watch General Hospital anytime I wanted. To each his/her own concerning the policy on “pulling the plug”! I love my TV have Direct TV service and a DVR. I also stream a lot of TV shows & movies on websites that that are not connected with mainstream TV companies. General Hospital is interrupted way too often by what the local news channel calls breaking news. I can download GH but I have to wait a week. If I’m already paying for the service why can’t I watch it online? Also, my computer is older and is not able to download an APP!

  36. first of all why they do that its messed up & i know they want them to watch on tv live but its actually not live live you know what i mean some people don’t have TV & that why they went to abc family online another reason is that abc family shows on tv sometimes dont come on when they say their supposed to but i could allways trust abc family online to have the show on the day it was supposed to even if it wasnt on tv the day it was supposed to

  37. Judy Crews says:

    I am furious with ABS’s new policy about watching TV episodes online. Do they not want us as viewers ??? My cable provider is not one on their “list”, so if I want to watch it, I have to pay to do so. REALLY ??? I would advise them to reinstate free next-day online streaming; I mean, aren’t satisfied viewers a priority ?

  38. You are not a true cord cutter. Real cord cutters always supplement with services such as hulu, netflix, and amazon instant. This is the whole purpose of cord cutting. Still being able to watch everything you can possibly think of for much cheaper. Hulu is the easiest solution to that. For under ten dollars a month you get access to pretty much any show you can possibly watch. And you can watch it on your roku player. You article is still valid but if you cared about any of those shows you’d have a service like hulu plus. Also you never had the required by federal law free DTV tuner in your area. I got three from comcast of all people and they work just fine.

    • This wasn’t my article about being a cord cutter. Its purpose was to explain the changes that ABC has made. Having an alternate provider is an option for many and what they choose, but those who are surprised or unhappy with their inability to watch ABC online. Happy that you have a solution that works for you!

  39. Michelle,
    First of all, thank you for eloquently providing the information we needed regarding WHY ABC decided to change their streaming policy. My husband and I have been considering cutting the cable because our bill is not worth amount of TV we watch or even record. I am in school and he is in to other hobbies and not much TV. Our bill is almost $180 per month for (get this) ONE DVR box, and one Modem for internet through TWC. Cable is getting more and more costly now that antennae TV days are long behind us – which makes absolutely no sense to me until you and Mike broke it down for us to understand. Money is always the reason and unfortunately, folks like me who can afford the luxury no longer want to. After reading the many posts here, I think we will be cutting cable for sure. Even if we only stick with the very basic service that only gives you local channels (2-19 or so) that only costs about $12. [We are news junkies..] LOL! I too was shocked to learn that ABC changed their streaming service. I opted to record my shows instead of stream them online but I was rather upset and felt it was unfair. Thanks again

    • Welcome to my world. That said, if you’re only doing local shows, you can easily do an antenna and skip the basic service even, if you choose. Our house still had an antenna in the attic (who knew) that my husband was able to connect easily. Good luck!

    • Stop renting the Cable Modem, trot down to Best Buy and get your own for under fifty bucks.

      • Actually, we own our own modem. This article is focused on the restriction of when ABC now allows people to watch their new content.

        • Yup, I was repsonding to Nia’s comment. She mentioned that she still rented.

          On the subject of cable modem’s, if you have had your modem for a few years then you should check out the software load, docsis 3.0 is the current standard for high speed internet. The difference with the previous release is the ability to “bond” channels for greatly increased throughput. IPV6 is also enabled. So if you view the “properties” of your network connection and see that IPv6 is enabled then you have docsis 3.0.

  40. Where I live, Comcast Cable has never run lines this far out. Therefore, I have to have DirecTV to watch television. But when I tried to stream something from ABC.com, they had a drop-down list of their “accepted” service providers which did NOT include DirecTV! WTH!? They had Dish. But DirecTV has been around LONG before Dish TV! I’ve had DirecTV for over 22 years!

    I’m so fed up I’m getting ready to just cut the cord and have my son set me up with a digital antenna and use my Apple TV and maybe get a Roku as well.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to add this about DirecTV and ABC not acknowledging them as a valid service provider. I have to pay over $105 a month for that service! You’d THINK I could stream a show when I miss one every once in a while!

  41. Don’t overlook that you can still push the “TV” button on your remote and receive all the major TV stations (ABC, CBS, NBC,FOX etc.) broadcasting in your area, just as you did before cable. Almost all of their programs are HD. You might need one of the new type antennas (get one with both VHS and UHF capabilities), but they are still out there sending their signals through the airwaves. I now have all the content from Amazon Prime, as well as 17 free channels from broadcast stations.

    • Yep, you can definitely still watch ABC live via antenna – which is something I talk about in another post altogether. BUT I want to live my life and watch what little tv I do on my own time rather than being beholden to 7pm, don’t get a phone call, type watching. That’s where the issue of not being able to watch online becomes an issue and where it tends to really be driving people away.

      • Mona Mobley says:

        I still have a VCR that I can record from my antenna, so that helps a lot when you want to have a life. :) It still does the job. Thanks again.

  42. I did a post or two about this on my own blog so this subject is fresh in my mind. Thanks for the information on verification. Very useful.
    My mother (aged 86) has moved in with me and wants to watch some shows that are cable only. And I cut the cable.
    A few interesting points on cable. One, over a year ago the FCC ruled that cable companies could begin encrypting Basic cable channels, those are the channels that are broadcast over the air and can be received via an antenna. That was the only service I used for $9.50 a month. Why would the cable company (Comcast) encrypting something that is not encrypted and broadcast free? The answer is that the cable companies are very annoyed with people who don’t use cable boxes and for basic cable that cable coming into the house can be connected directly into the TV. No cable box, no extra revenue for Movies on Demand, premium channels etc. etc…
    The DTV adapter that is provided to decrypt the unnecessary encryption takes the HD signal coming in and outputs a SD (low resolution) signal out. One DTV adapter is required for each TV or DVR recorder and while in some areas two or three DTV’s are provided initially free of charge, after one or two years that changes and (Comcast at least) each will then cost $10/month. Still outputting an SD signal.
    So I cancelled cable TV saving the $10/month and installed a antenna. So the next month, Comcast upped the cost of my internet connection by $15/month for loss of “Bundled product discount”.
    This is getting long so I’ll cut it short. Let me finish with, “What would Uncle Miltty say?”

    • Why yes, yes, that is a huge issue. We did the same thing with the antenna, and our costs went up – but all we want and need is internet. We will call periodically and ask for promos and can get our rate reduced, but the whole game is disgusting to me.

      • Especially when you compare the speed and service available to Europe, and parts of Asia.
        Since (for all intent and purposes) cable is an monopoly, why is it a monopoly that is not regulated the same way that phone, electricity and gas are regulated? Even on the local level, our town used to have a cable board that rode herd on the cable company in town. But not now.
        Your (most excellent) article was on streaming ABC. But the cable companies were the reason for the change, their pushback on their viewership dropping them and doing a end run via streaming started this. So contacting ABC to protest may do little good, writing your congressperson to shake the tree of which Comcast and Time Warner are the biggest branches might. And now, while those two are trying to get their merger approved might be the best time.

        Now, time to garden.

  43. I, like you, have stopped getting hooked on ABC shows. Our cable provider isn’t included, so we get extra screwed. We pay, we can’t watch right away, and when we can, there are tons of commercial breaks. (The “limited commercial” promise at the beginning doesn’t fool anyone.)

    I hope enough people stop watching and they make some changes.

  44. PeterJones says:

    ABC Go offers some great shows and of course the ABC live feature. If you don’t live in US, you can use UnoTelly or similar tools to access it in your country.

  45. Gosh I am WITH YOU on this! I could no longer justify paying $130 a month for cable and internet when I live alone and am never home when my shows are on. There are literally like three shows I’ll actually watch and those are (were) Twisted, The Fosters, and Dance Moms. I’m extremely annoyed that I can no longer watch any of them online because I only have internet service (which I got primarily for school, but also because I THOUGHT I would be able to watch my shows online after they aired…joke is on me I guess). I think it’s ridiculous that they force people to have cable to watch a show. If I was going to go back to paying for cable I would get it with a DVR to record my shows and it wouldn’t matter whether I could see them online or not. It’s so annoying. Sorry not all of us can afford to pay for something we hardly use.

    • An interesting sidelight to this discussion: when I called Comcast to drop TV and phone service, they advised me that my internet service would cost me $84.00/month. I immediately purchased a cable modem to save $8.00/month. Yesterday I called them and told them I was dropping their internet service because ATT had s promo rate of $19.95/mo. After about 2-3 minutes of haggling, I ended up with a reduced rate of $21.00/mo. for a year, followed by an increase to 41.00/mo. for the following year, and then up to $76.00. I plan on staying with them for a year and then moving to ATT.

      • Absolutely. You get a bundled price for multiple products that really gets increased when you cancel products. BUT I’ve never failed in a negotiation with my cable company over pricing. Congrats!

  46. I bought an overair antenna paid 99.99 for mine because I’m no near a big city but there is a good one for 59. My picture is way better then my dish picture was. I get live tv on the analogue connection just like the old days. I just can’t record but my hulu will give me the show the next day or two if I miss the live show.

  47. Norma Cooney says:

    I gave up my cable the end of April this year. I watch mostly anything I want on The Dare wall.com. The only thing I really miss is HGTV. I used to have them on almost all weekend when I was with cable. Oh well its their loss. You would think these networks would make it easier for people to watch online instead of more difficult. I enjoyed reading your blog though as I had wondered why I hat to supply a cable provider and now I know.

    I am a senior lady and as such could not afford both cable and internet so I made the choice to go with internet and I’m not sorry. BTW – ABC lost me when they cancelled All My Children. I had watched that show from the onset and I was devastated when it was taken off the air along with a lot of other people. I vowed I would never watch ABC again. Childish???? Yeah likely but that was the way I felt and still do.

  48. I will read the rest of this article when I have the time! I can’t afford satellite or cable, being retired & living on a VERY small amount of money! Sometimes I miss a show or forget to set the recorder, so, I use to like being able to watch them after a few hours online. Now, ABC makes you wait 8 days [Fox, also] to watch them & yes, they use to have only one or two commercials…..now, too, many! CBS lets you watch theirs that night, but is loaded with commercials. I’m about ready to “CAN” both of these stations/channels! Do all these companies advertising on TV, really, think we’ll run right out & buy their product? When I’m watching a recorded show [record almost everything], I FF through all the commercials! When I do watch the shows while they are airing, I do other things when the commercials are on! I do not watch them. They aggravate the “H” out of me!!! Do they cause me to buy a product????? “H” NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    • I have a problem with Comcast – not TV advertisers. As much as you may dislike advertisements, they are a necessary “evil”. You have to pay for your entertainment! Actors, production companies and other expenses associated with making movies or TV shows are paid for their services. They don’t do all this work because you are entitled to free entertainment. They do it to earn money.

      • I’m with you, although I’ll add ABC into the mix, as well. I get that advertisements are a necessary evil – it’s the cost of my “free” broadcast television. Except that even that isn’t free anymore – at least not the way it used to be.

  49. You said everything I was thinking. ABC SUCKS! The one show they have that’s good, I can’t watch.

  50. I think cable companies should be paying us to watch all of these commercials, paid programming, the same movies over and over again. We are constantly having adds thrown at us. An hour program = 40 min + 20 min of commercials. We should, at least, be able to choose which programs / networks are included in the packages we pay for. I miss the days when I was a kid that you would turn on the TV and there was always something to watch even though not so many channels, (had to move the antena around sometimes though) but it was free.

    • I agree that the providers should allow us to pick the channels we want, and pay for them only. I offered that deal to Comcast and they refused, and that’s when I dropped their TV. If enough people do the same thing to the monopoly that the cable providers have, they will become more reasonable. Sadly, ain’t gonna happen.

  51. As the new season began I noticed this. Your article explains what I painfully discovered on my own. ABC should be ashamed of themselves, especially since I do have a TV provider, but one of the three they don’t support. What the heck? You can’t even watch on Hulu without subscribing. Time to stop watching ABC!

    • You’re right! And that is what I did. I have the option to watch their offerings with my antenna, but I don’t do it often. I don’t use HULU, because I benefit by using only Amazon. I get to see a lot of free shows that way. Don’t have time to mess with ABC. Either they come of age and stream their programming, or they will miss out on our business.

    • I found this out when they made the decision to do this. I am SOL because I am one of those people that does not have cable. We have a digital broadcast antenna and yes, we have all the local channels available to us but broadcast tv is also not covered under ABC’s confirm your provider to watch rule. So iif I want to watch something after it has broadcast I too am pretty much out of luck. The other channel we don’t get which I don’t understand is ABC Family ( the last time I looked ABC family is an ABC channel right????

      Bad moves ABC bad moves…. way to lose viewers.

      • ABC Family, I’ll give them. That is a cable channel that ABC runs (much like MSNBC, etc). I get that I may not have access to that, but when you don’t subscribe to the “right” cable company, it’s frustrating to not be able to watch the shows that are part of the broadcast network.

    • Debbie Pfred I think you are referring to it’s abc.go.com I don’t like their programing shows at all you would like watching the abc family programming shows

  52. some people dont get the free stations either they’re jerks !!!!!! thanks abc for nothing but heart ache cant watch my shows!!!!!!

    • I am not sure I understand that. All of the local channels were required to change to HD, and they all still broadcast over the airwaves. It takes some new technology antennas to receive from long distances, and they are available. I you live in the mountains or in Death Valley, I guess you won’t have coverage. At this point I will stop watching TV altogether rather than going back to being screwed by Comcast.

  53. Theres a super simple solution it’s called WatchSeries

  54. ExtortionIsBadMkay says:

    I just decided not to bother with it. Most of the shows I want to watch (Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, etc.) are available to stream at different “non-approved” sites. I use Chrome with AdBlock Plus on my laptop, so I don’t even see any of their annoying ads. Vive la résistance!

  55. Direct tv is NOT one of the providers listed. If you have direct tv you just have to wait a week. Haven’t found an answer for why except speculation that it’s all about contractual BS.

  56. So you want to freeload? You’re angry because ABC has always been free and because it is no longer free you feel entitled? Did I miss something? Since when did TV providers have to give anything free. Besides, over the air tv is still free so if you want to be cheap and not pay for cable to get the streaming then watch it over the air. If every network gave you free streaming then no one would watch cable so the networks would not make any money to stay in business. Go to FOX, AMC, HBO or any other channel and see if they give you free streaming. They all make you pay so it is only right that ABC should too. Advertising alone does not foot the bill for programming.

    • I do not expect it for free, I have DirecTv and pay a lot for it but DirecTv is not on their list!!

    • I was angry when my local ABC didn’t even air the middle or modern family one wed and replaced it with a stupid basketball game. Didn’t air the shows later or repeat them!! And I have dish, which I like except for abc’s greedy self. It would be one thing if, like all the other channels(not CBS, fox, NBC) they would repeat the shows a couple of times a week. If my power goes out during game of thrones HBO repeats it like 20 times throughout the week and dish anywhere app allows anytime streaming of ALL HBO shows AND movies. HBO has a ton of movies and I like all their shows. ABC has no movies and four shows I like. I’m not paying for such little content. Their daytime stuff is crap. I like comedy & SciFi not all that drama & housewife talkshow crap. That’s my biggest problem with these networks. They only have one or two shows I watch. The rest are on the repeat channels like AMC, USA, BBC… They’re stuck in the 80’s. And the local channels anger me with interruptions either sports or “breaking news.” We have no tornadoes or anything serious but they sure think it is!! And it happens on DVR too when the news has past.

      • Local stations preempting national programming to show their own shows has been a problem since I started watching television in the early 1960s. Even though it does cost additional money and sometimes requires subscribing to a cable or satellite service, I am thankful there are options like iTunes purchases, Netflix, Hulu, and apps like WatchABC.

        • sandy allen says:

          I do subscribe to dish. Its not like there’s an ABC channel, its always a local. I shouldn’t have to pay over 100$ a month plus to not see my program and then pay an extra 2$ to watch it online. Any other network except the idiot five(ABC,NBC,CBS,cw&fox) repeat their shows so if my power or satellite goes out I can watch my show at another time, usually before the new episode the following week. Also, no one wants a bunch if apps on their devices for one show here or there. It would be one thing if abc go included all there channels, USA, ABC family, all the Disney channels and so forth, but they don’t. I usually watch one or two shows from each channel and these networks don’t seem to get it!! They’re greedy. Plain & simple. The time of actors, directors… making millions is over and unnecessary. Meanwhile the creators still don’t make much. They’re holding on by a thread and hopefully the tech industry will snap it.

  57. I would take what you wrote a little more to heart if I was not forced to look at the Toys R Us ad that scrolls along with this blog. Ther is an x to close it out but does not work. So it seems that you are doing the same thing the networks are doing in their apps. so that you can get paid by your advitisors for your blog.

    • I understand what you’re saying, Heather, but note that my point is not against the networks being able to advertise. I respect their right to make money off their programming. My entire point is that I am already watching their commercials but if you don’t have a select cable provider, we now have to wait a week to watch a broadcast network’s television.

      • Heather, I use Firefox for my primary browser, Startpage for default goto page, installed these add-on’s = NoScript, Adblock plus and Lightbeam for safe-er surfing. Though you must turn on each script because of NoScript to see or interact with many websites, you should leave them on temporarily till you can easily read up to see if that script-site is safe or not. So the end result is no or fewer adverts a christmas lite a blink’n and a smaller chance of catch’n a cold if you stumble onto a malware/hacked website. This comment is only a sidebar to the orig – ABC topic here

    • Heather… you are ignorant. Advertising is EVERYWHERE in the media and it will never go away unless the consumer pays an exorbitant amount of money (which we will never do as you can see by those of us complaining about cable costs already… imagine if there weren’t advertisements… well, quite simply there would be no TV).

      Banner ads on a website are non-intrusive (if done properly) and do not hinder a person from getting to the content they want / need on any given website. With live TV online or through a box (i.e. AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, etc), the point Michelle is making is that not only are the studios saying you have to have a RIDICULOUS subscription service for TV, but you have to sign into it to verify that you are paying an unbelievable amount of money for cable, AND you also have to watch the content with FORCED advertisements. It’s the most RIDICULOUS thing I have EVER heard of. The cable companies are getting their cake and they get to eat it too. I &$*#(*# (insert f word) HATE cable companies with a burning passion and I hope more and more people see articles like what Michelle so elegantly wrote so that they will understand that what these companies are doing is outright wrong.

      Conclusion – Advertising is not the issue. It’s making the consumer pay… and then pay again… and get the same experience that someone gets who is not paying anything (me). It truly flabbergasts me that people ACTUALLY still pay for cable / satellite TV when there is no need. Even sports is available on demand now…. GAH! (ok…. I’m done being frustrated with dummies) :)

      One more analogy and then I’m done. Imagine you walked into Walmart (lol… this is going to be good) and walked over to the isle with cereal in it. You picked up a box of cereal and someone was standing there and said “hey… you can have this cereal over here that costs less with (SHWING!) this coupon. You want it?” You say “Sure!” Then they say “Here just watch this short video that I have on my tablet” You watch the video and they give you a coupon for the competitor’s cereal which now costs less because of your actions. You walk up to the front, pay for your items, and you walk toward the door of the store. The greeter stops you and says “Can I see your receipt?” You hand them your receipt and they say “Hmmm..” (whips out their tablet and says) “You’re going to need to watch this advertisement before you leave the store since you got the coupon in the cereal isle.” Would you be upset that no one told you that you had to watch two videos in order to receive the coupon? OF COURSE YOU WOULD! No one told you…. THIS IS WHAT ABC IS DOING! SCREW THEM! :)

      • For those of you who read my long reply above…. and you chose not to watch the video in the cereal isle, that’s because you are smart and realize that your time is more valuable…. therefore you are smart and are probably a cord cutter any way. :) It’s not a flawless example… but I had fun with it any way.

  58. I’m not a big TV watcher, but I do pay for cable. I have kids, family and friends that like TV when they are at my home, so I pay the price. However, I am quite frustrated that after my 60 plus hour work week and paying what I consider too much for what I watch that I cannot stream ABC like I do all of the other networks. If this is the model other networks will follow, I’ll be keeping my nearly $3000 year cable fund to my self. I think I’ll by myself something nice…

    • Hey C-me… I see you are on the fence so I want to show you something.

      What can you do with $3,000 a year if you cut the cord (if you REALLY want to pay for subscription services for TV)

      Netflix for 12 months – $107.88

      Hulu for 12 months (with Showtime added on) – $107.88

      Amazon Instant for 12 months (Perk – in addition to amazon prime free 2-day shipping option on items you purchase through amazon) – $99

      NFL “Season Plus” subscription for 1 year (Watch every Preseason + Regular Season game and get replays of all 2015 NFL Playoff games – Including Super Bowl 50) – $162.32

      NBA Game Pass (Watch select preseason games and ALL regular season games… In fact, you can watch up to 4 games (yes FOUR GAMES) AT THE SAME TIME – $199.99

      MLB.tv – Well, they’re behind the times… they make you pay, AND they make you watch ads, AND they make you sign into your TV provider in order to watch the games…. I have hopes they’ll catch up with the times eventually. For now, watch them for FREE with your digital antenna (if you can’t get to the game when it is airing live.. buy a DVR and record it while you’re gone… it works the exact same as cable.. only it’s free after paying for the antenna and the DVR). – for argument’s sake, we’ll call this $200 ONE-TIME fee until the MLB get’s their butt in gear

      Postseason.tv – Watch the post season MLB games – $4.99

      Right now we are at $882.06 on your overall bill. You could even add a few more services and be right around the $1,000 range if you wanted to. Now… what to do with the other $2,000? Buy a HUGE TV since you are going to be watching so much…. then, the next year, you can buy a HUGE surround sound system… then the next year, you can buy a (you see what I’m getting at?)

      CUT THE CORD MAN! You’ll be happy you did.

      • You are incorrect on a couple of points.

        NFL GamePass – great product, but preseason games are the only ones that available to watch life. All of the other games are available on demand after all of the games have been played.

        MLB.tv – I’ve been a subscriber for years and have never had to log in using a TV provider to watch games. MLB Network is not available without a TV provider log in, but most games not involving the teams in the market where I live are available to watch. Also, there are no commercials during the games.

        • I am confused on how I am incorrect on those two points. What you just said is exactly what I said…. I guess I wasn’t totally clear that MLB.tv SUUUUCKS right now. :) Which is why I watch games with my cheap digital antenna for FREE.

  59. Spending your hard earned money wisely is always in vogue and each prior comment here brings good points. When children are involved, a parent should watch/preview the shows & commercials seen by the ‘lil ones because show writers add lots of hidden adult only themes to these “kids” programs and advertisers directly market to our kids anyway, so please be a parent = and help your child understand/learn your values (because they’ll learn someone’s)
    After much procrastination on my part – I installed an OTA TV antenna I kept stored for years, disconnected my 3 yr old Directv DVR setup this November, (Wow! great signal for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS stations) connected to existing TV/Sat cables that ran to smart tv’s (LAN cable attached) and a pc running a dual tv tuner card (WINTV-7) card also works directly with Windows Media Center. That pc already ran 24×7 – recording IP security cameras/motion detectors around my home’s perimeter. If you bought everything new or through a vendor = the complete antenna, tower, rotor, signal pre-amp, cables could easily top $900 (my total was $250) Look at craigslist (or use it via searchtempest.com) for local deals or try ebay and amazon. You may have an existing desktop pc with capable performance, my tv tuner card cost $60. I had everything except the 2000 lbs of concrete for the tower base ($90 from Lowes) I made a swingdown towerbase that doesn’t require guy wires to support it. I was spending $1400 year for DTV service, now have free OTA TV service w/DVR for shows, news, movies with no load on the pc. I still continue to review a future purchase of internet based streaming tv boxes like Roku WDHDTV AppleTV that have more functions then my Samsung smart tv’s and services like Hulu+ AmazonPrime iTunes netflicks and others. These services are very dependent on reliable, fast internet service – so don’t omit this in your testing. Also, the video streaming sites are under attack by the “Net Neturality Foe’s” so just like the service Aereo TV, the box/provider you select can be gone in blick – or worse – become cost prohibitive next month. HBO says their going to offer direct to the internet only subscribers in 2015 bypassing the cable/Sat providers (wait & see if they muscle through the change or get beat down by the cable/Sat money) You always have to pay to play = just don’t throw your money away (unless it’s to me – LOL) I’m a good/great charity. I don’t post to blogs so this is a 1st. I’m going through this now. This is also an open note to Michelle as I used to work/based out of Northlake yrs ago, have a cousin who retired from Chicago FD. My grandfather worked within the loop even after moving up to the northern suburb of Delavan WI. Yes – even saw Johnny Cougar play his new music in Melrose Park clubs b4 he got found.

    This topic helps if you have options like putting up an antenna (or you should create them) Don’t be in a rush – make a plan – then transition to it. Put everything into a spreadsheet and review it. Items, costs, TV shows – anything. I used http://www.tvfool.com or http://www.antennaweb.org for help with what I could expect for local tv reception and pointing the antenna (yes – I have a rotor but I’m finding I’m leaving the antenna point to 1 location) Also use old school = looked at nearby homes with tv antennas or asked. Most of my setup was paid for before I started but I’m still going through some withdraws for my 6 DTV/cable channels I watched/recorded shows from (for easy viewing – but pc broswer web based sites can be a source of malware if it’s a rogue site so Be Carefull or be a fool with a hacked pc) I tend to view the whole season after is ends = over a couple of nights – so what’s the problem? Control of the remote for easier access of the recorded programs/channel surfing – well – not if the DirecTv DVR should up & die. I back up the shows/movie’s I watched to my same security pc when I record them because that happened before. No, it’s not that hard to change. Change occurs everyday – unless your child likes the movie “Groundhog Day” and as you know – kids will watch the same movie over & over – till your going crazy – nuts – close your eyes and wake up in the movie! Then ask you for something different for dinner – after you made the same thing they love. Lol – kids = don’t have’em! Too late? Well, save some money and make a good choice if you can.

    • Does WPBF 25 have Watch ABC? I called my local station and Hearst Television to ask they had it available, but I haven’t heard really heard an answer yet. But my local station did say they will receive it “sometime this year”. I hope that’s true.

      • At this point, no. When you go to the Watch ABC app, it will ask you to log in when you want to see a Verify to Watch episode and will show you there the providers that are participating at this point. Fingers crossed for you.

  60. I am so frustrated by ABC. I can’t stand having to verify to watch. It’d be one thing if there weren’t commercials, but you’re right, there are boatloads! They aren’t the only ones either. Fox has you wait 8 days before you can watch New Girl, which drives me crazy!

  61. i am most upset with cbs, I ‘watch’ many shows on CBS. However, due to a busy working and living schedule, I dvr most shows and watch them later. cbs is now going to charge a monthly fee to view shows. i will not be held hostage. I now have cable but am being nickeled and dimed to death it seems. Heading to retirement i cannot justify the $210/mo I am now paying. Ridiculous! I am unable to switch to DirectTV because I cannot get adequate reception where i am. I read a lot; NOW I will read even more! LOL

  62. “I have a major philosophical issue with this, as ABC is network television and meant to be free tv.”

    Wrong. You’re confusing content with the method of distribution of content. ABC content is NOT meant to be free, nor is it free. By law, over-the-air broadcasts are free because such broadcasts use the public airwaves. But that does not mean that ABC can’t charge you to watch online broadcasts of the same content that it broadcasts free over the air.

  63. The good news is Directv and Disney have reached an agreement and soon Directv subscribers will be able to access WatchABC.

  64. I just downloaded the app today and I’ve been trying all afternoon to watch an old episode of an ABC show as streaming isn’t available in my area. this may sound stupid, but the instructions instruct me to sign in and I can’t find any place to sign in and I have looked everywhere. can anybody provide me with some direction ? I’m using an Android phone, & I don’t have access to internet or cable at home

    • If it isn’t a verify to watch show – one from the past week – you should be able to watch it. I haven’t encountered a request to sign in via mobile except when attempting to watch one of the more recent shows, and a screen automatically pops up. I wish I had a better answer for you. Good luck!

  65. Bill Berry says:

    It is all about the advertisements and the commercials many, many networks have us watch. Anybody who has been following the many lawsuits that were launched against Dish Network and their latest DVR called the “Hopper” know that many owners can simply skip right through those commercials and it is why this is a big deal to them. I too am a cable/satellite ex-owner and stream everything I watch. I do believe it is only a matter of time before we too will be made to pay whether like Dish’s new Sling TV or via a-la-carte. There was a day when satellite TV was free to big dish owners and that is no longer the case with high power DBS like Dish and DirecTV. I simply think one way or the other we’re going to be made to pay like what CBS has recently has done similar to the Hulu model. One day it won’t be free unless you have some tech knowledge and opt for Kodi formerly XBMC.

  66. The key to watching television now is to move away from channel surfing. We have been brought up to mindlessly keep changing the channel until we find something that catches our eye. Once I became MINDFUL of what I wanted to see, it was easy to find it and watch as many episodes of that show for as long as I wanted. There are so many great series out there that I’ve never seen – Dexter, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, etc. I can always start watching a new show any time and not have to be a hostage to ABC, NBC or any of the other pirates out there. So even though Scandal is a great show, they’ve lost me on a weekly basis. Thanks to the magic of Netflix or a number of other internet fixes, I can watch it in the future if I choose. I’m no longer a slave to their nonsense. Life is good.

    • Good news if you are a Directv subscriber, the Watch family of apps; ABC, ABC Family, Disney, Disney Jr, Disney XD, ESPN are now supported by Directv. More streaming options on computers and mobile devices.

  67. There is over 4000 5000 6000 of people that are watching abc family shows on demand dvr Netflixs and online abc family is not fixing their raitings on their programing shows their are numerous of people that are really upset at tom ascheim because he’s not looking into how many people are watching abc family shows on On Demand DVR Netflixs and online

  68. My problem with this new philosophy is three fold, aside the points you already pointed out:

    1) If I did want to watch the shows live and I missed a show, I then get stuck and can’t catch up. My favorite show is OUAT and I feel like you miss a lot if you watch them out of order. Sundays I have family time with my in-laws out of town. Sometimes we are home by the time the show runs, most the time we are not. I have sat down a few times thinking oh, I can watch OUAT and then I realize that I am a week behind, so I turn it off so I don’t get spoilers. I am not planning my life around this show, so I won’t try to make it home early because frankly me having a life is more important than a serialized drama. But it would be nice if I had the ability to catch up with these shows before the next one airs in case I am at home when it airs and I want to watch it.

    2) Today I was watching a show on CBS (good thing it wasn’t ABC) and a special report broke in for near 90 minutes because of tornado warnings in the area. I am glad they broke in because that is emergency information we need. However, by the time the tornado information went off the air, the show I was watching was long over. Luckily, I can watch it online tomorrow. But what if it was ABC? Lets say I did sit down and watch the show on a regular basis with me cutting the cable cord. Well now I am stuck constantly being a week behind because I want to watch the show in order and can’t get back to watching it live. It kind of seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot there.

    3) These channels are supposed to be free broadcast channels, as you mentioned. With the change to the digital antennas, I can no longer pick up NBC. I would love to watch “The Voice” when it airs and be part of the voting process, but sadly I can’t because I can’t pick up this station no matter what I do. I also live in the middle of the city, not in the middle of the country, so it is not a matter of living supposedly out of range. I can watch NBC the next day and there are days when I don’t have work in the morning that I will watch it and still catch the end of the voting period, but those are rare. But if it was ABC, I wouldn’t be able to even do that. If it was a show like “The Voice” where the results are posted online after they air for eliminations, why would I invest myself in a new artist that I know will get eliminated at the beginning of the episode. This could be said of any reality show. You would push away a part of your demographic because my rabbit ears for my TV just happens to not pick up a signal that I was able to receive prior to the digital switch.

  69. If your are not a cable subscriber just boycott TV channels Like ABC, this is the only way that public TV will be free again.

    • Lobo… public TV IS free. Go buy a digital antenna. I’m serious… the picture / sound quality is an UNCOMPRESSED signal from the station itself. It’s BETTER than cable or satellite (which compresses the signal to NO END). If you do this, you will see what I mean… it’s even more reliable than streaming TV live on a box like an Apple TV or a Roku or Chromcast. TV is free… you just have to get past all of the marketing that TV providers claim you need in order to watch TV. All you need is a digital antenna…. THAT’S IT! FREE!

      • Mike is absolutely correct. The picture quality of uncompressed, over the air broadcasts, received with a digital antenna is better than anything I had with my satellite provider. And as Mike pointed out, it is FREE. If you are cutting the cord and still want to watch programs on demand, invest in a DVR to record over the air broadcasts from ABC (or any other network). There is a monthly fee associate with the DVR but it is no where near what someone pays for cable or satellite service.

  70. so I am devastated. we are also getting rid of dish and just getting Netflix. I figured I could watch Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder on abc.com, but it is telling me to verify.. I am assuming that it will be available seven days after it airs? is this still a thing? I don’t want to quit watching!

    • This is still a thing. You will have to sign in to watch. Or wait the 7 days…

      • ABC Family channel requires a 15 day wait. Two full episodes have to air BEFORE you can see the previous. SO Frustrating!!! Since we are mandated to watch the commercials, why does it even matter?

  71. I recently decided to stop (over)paying for television via a TV Provider. I am beyond frustrated with the rising costs, so we went with an antenna and Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. All three of those cost me less than one third the previous “Provider” cost. I’m right there with everyone about being annoyed that ABC and its affiliates need to change their online viewing options. I mean…it’s NOT like we can bypass the commercials, so why the “restricted” period at all?? It’s ridiculous!

  72. ABC on demand service is a joke. It is as if they want to force you to watch twice the commercials than if you watched the cast on regular TV. The stream always freezes on different advertisements. I am going back to DVR and other sources to view the content until ABC hires competent IT staff.

  73. Steven Palmer says:

    Pay a couple hundred a month to watch cable tv, and use Internet… then ABC says they can’t find my provider, I cannot watch a show (One Upon A Time) my DVR missed. It says have to wait a week to watch it. A bunch of B.S. I have had it with these bad policies from people who just don’t care about the viewers and have their heads up their butts. Should not have to turn tricks to watch a simple video for a tv show that has already aired all over the earth, yesterday. You suck ABC.

  74. Hopefully you will see this before my previous comment gets posted and not post it. 😉 Sorry about my previous comment -I was just irritated that someone felt the need to be so nitpicky about your terminology when you clearly did a great job of explaining reasons for a really annoying move on ABC’s part (SO annoying! And making viewers wait until the day AFTER an episode airs to watch it is REALLY annoying – I couldn’t even catch up on live tv if I wanted to b/c I’d always be an episode behind!), and I didn’t think before I hit enter on my snarky reply to him. Sorry!

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