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Be prepared: ABC is making changes to streaming availability

Change is coming Jan. 6

Beginning Jan. 6, ABC is making it a little more difficult for you to stream your favorite shows the day after they air. Find out how it affects you.

ABC Streaming Story

If you're a frequent visitor to the Watch ABC website, you might have seen the news that changes are coming beginning Jan. 6. As of that date, you will only be able to stream your favorite shows the day after they air via the portal if you subscribe to certain cable companies.

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Yes, you read that right — cable companies. As it happens, neither Dish Network nor DirectTV currently participate in the program. The cable companies that do participate are as follows:

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

Time Warner Cable does not participate, either.

In order to use the ABC Go services after Jan. 6, customers must verify their subscriptions and eligibility by logging in to the service to watch the most recent episodes. Eight days after an episode airs, it will be available without the need to meet those requirements.

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Other options include utilizing your provider's On Demand service, purchasing a Hulu Plus subscription or purchasing individual episodes via iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.

There's no need to fret. If you don't have a cable subscription and don't want to buy Hulu or individual episodes, there are still other ways to capture your favorite ABC (and other networks) shows for time-shifted viewing. Remember VCRs? They still exist. Although they don't provide all of the excitement high definition televisions have to offer or the speed of newer devices, they still get the job done.

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Speaking of newer devices, purchasing a TiVo is also an option. It can be used with or without a cable subscription. The device will still work even if you don't purchase a TiVo subscription, but you won't know what you're watching or recording — you'll have to wing it and use it VCR style.

You can always watch live or wait the eight days to stream your favorite programs online. As ABC was one of the trailblazers of online viewing, it's likely other networks will follow their trail and alter their slate of availability in a similar fashion, so it's best to prepare now.

Image courtesy of ABC/Bob D'Amico
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