Starting Aug. 15, the Fox network will limit next-day streaming of its shows to paying customers of approved cable and satellite distributors. Those customers will be able to log in and watch episodes of “Bones,” “The Simpsons” and other shows the day after they appear on TV; all others will have to wait eight days.
The limitations, announced on Tuesday and bemoaned by fans of Hulu, are a significant change to the online television system. At least one of Hulu’s other network partners, ABC, is contemplating setting a similar limit, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
For Fox, a unit of the News Corporation, the new limitations are driven by a desire to protect lucrative deals with cable and satellite distributors. Increasingly, distributors are paying monthly fees for Fox programs through retransmission agreements, and they dislike the fact that many of the programs are free online.
via NYTimes.com – Fox to Limit Next-Day Streaming on Hulu to Paying Cable Customers. So what’s the incentive to keep watching shows legally? The whole game changer with Hulu was getting content for free, high quality, legal and soon after it aired. All four are possible with Hulu today, changing this eliminates the incentives for a customer.