Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 17-08-2011
FOX is taking its TV Everywhere message to the masses, exhorting its TV viewers to request the participation of their service provider in the broadcast company's multiscreen initiative.
For those looking to watch online versions of TV shows and movies, FOX has put its current programming behind a pay wall that requires users to authenticate into the service using their pay-TV credentials or view via Hulu Plus-- a model many industry watchers expect to soon see proliferate. In FOX's case, users can view episodes for up to eight days after their TV debut.
However, not all of FOX's carrier partners are participating. In fact, most of them are not, indicating the high probability that FOX is asking for higher retransmission fees for the privilege. Only DISH Network and Hulu Plus (which FOX partly owns) are in on the scheme.
So FOX is appealing to viewers to help bring some heat on those pay-TV operators that aren't getting with the programme (literally).
"Frustrated?" reads an online note at FOX.com, where until recently viewers could see full episodes for free. "Join your fellow subscribers and let your TV provider know that you want access to all full episodes on FOX.com. We will send an e-mail when your provider's status changes."
FOX then provides a form letter that would-be viewers can fill out: "Dear [Provider], I want to continue watching full episodes on FOX.com but you are not one of the participating providers. As a customer of [Provider] I want you to know that I expect to have access to these episodes included in my subscription."
The pay-TV authentication gambit has gotten some traction lately thanks to the success of HBO Go and iPad apps from Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Bt it is unclear if FOX--a fre-to-air network--can command the same success given its non-premium status. Its ace in the hole could be the upcoming premieres of some of TV's most popular programming, including Glee and House.