Whereas ABC shows were available to anyone previously for free, under the new system only paying subs will have next-day access. The shows will be free without a subscription after one week.
ABC follows Fox in restricting access to shows to paying subscribers -- clearly a move that will be unpopular for many consumers who have grown accustomed to free current TV shows online. Fox switched to the model in late 2011.
When ABC announced the Watch ABC app in May, the net said it would eventually move Internet eps to authenticated access. A rep said ABC started "doing some education about this to users on the ABC.com website and via the app" regarding the changes coming Jan. 6 a few weeks ago.
The Alphabet net has deals with the following providers to access shows online: AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS.
The change by ABC on releasing new episodes was reported earlier by GigaOm.
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