updated 02:50 pm EDT, Tue August 16, 2011
ABC working on authenticating online video views
ABC will join Fox in requiring users to log in while viewing online TV content. This solidifies earlier rumors that the Disney-owned network will do this, sources said to AllThingsD. During an earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated he back distributing his company's content over nontraditional outlets like Hulu and Netlfix as long as it doesn't disrupt the current relationship with cable companies.
"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," he said.
He went on to indicate content put up online wouldn't be in the same season as what airs on TV. He also said there is an attempt to build some form of authentication for customers who are multichannel subscribers that will allow access to programming faster or in a more aggressive window.
The practice follows a similar attempt by Fox to shield the cable and satellite providers it depends on from having to compete with Internet-only services. Common criticism of the practice has suggested it will only increase piracy by driving many to piracy who would have had no intentions of switching to cable just to see a show a week earlier.