The Fractured Streaming Marketplace

As I make my plan to leave Comcast behind, I put together a list of my shows over the weekend, along with the various ways to watch them1, and it’s pretty pathetic. As I started grouping them by network, trends would emerge.

For instance, FX really does not want you streaming their shows. They’re not available on HuluPlus or Amazon, nor through their own apps. Basically the only way to watch them will be to purchase them on iTunes. Meaning, I’ll be watching a lot less FX shows in the future.

Another trend, Broadcast networks like FOX, ABC, and NBC are very Hulu friendly, but CBS is not - that probably has something to do with the fact they have a vested interest in Hulu being successful2.

I know websites such as Can I Stream it and apps like fan.tv have sprung up to try and help viewers make sense of this crazy world. But I’ve found them to not be 100% reliable or they don’t explain all the restrictions very well.

I’d actually be a little surprised to find out if networks keep a running tally of their competitor’s streaming availability in a chart such as this so they could program against it. At PBS we basically put every show from every local station up for streaming if rights allow it3. PLUG: We also have AppleTV, XBOX & ROKU apps for your TV. Plus, it’s ALL FREE. Hmmmm…maybe we should do a commercial about that.


  1. Current seasons only. 

  2. FOX, ABC, and NBC all own a piece of Hulu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulu 

  3. If it were up to us, every season of every show would be available all the time. 

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