Trying to Watch Shows Online? Better Have a Subscription
A lot of tv stations have put their popular shows on their websites for free. This is nothing new. In fact, this is the basis for a lot of people dropping their cable service (otherwise known as cutting the cord.) They figure they can just watch the shows online for free. However, this isn’t always the case.
No Subscription? No Show.
I recently decided to trim the cord if not cut it completely. Sick of spending a huge amount of money for shows I wasn’t watching, I decided to focus on my Internet connection. I found a small tv package that more than served my needs for a reasonable price. It includes 17 channels, many of which are the basic ones you would expect; ABC, NBC, Fox, etc as well as HBO, Showtime and a subscription to Netflix. The main change for me hasn’t been the loss of channels, but the loss of my DVR. Since I want to watch my shows when I want to watch them, I have turned to a combination of Fios On Demand, Apple TV and the websites of the various stations.
Obviously, for On Demand, I can only watch the channels to which I am subscribed. But it turns out that the same is the case for Apple TV and online. This evening, I decided I wanted to watch Empire. For whatever reason, the most recent episode wasn’t on On Demand, so I went online. In order to watch the show, I had to connect Fox’s website to my Verizon account, thus proving that I should be allowed to access the show. I had the same experience last week when I wanted to watch an episode of an MTV show. I am not subscribed to MTV, so I couldn’t watch the show, MTV’s website wouldn’t allow it.
If you don’t have Apple TV, you don’t know that there are a number of stations that provide access to either live or on demand shows. In order to access these channels, I have to do the same thing; verify that I am subscribed. If I cannot verify my subscription, I cannot watch the channel.
Be Careful Before you Cut the Cord
The reason I decided to drop most of my cable subscription is that I found I was simply not paying attention to tv any more. I was recording a lot of shows, and then would ignore them as they were playing in the background. So my inability to access some shows online hasn’t disturbed me very much. But, if you are planning on getting rid of your cable subscription and there are shows you really want to be able to watch, make sure you will have access to them. Even without a cable subscription, there might be other options, for example, Hulu+. The point here is to make sure you do your research. You don’t want to be surprised.