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You Can Only Watch FOX Shows Online If You Subscribe To The Right Cable Company

Updated on June 21, 2012

I thought I'd start recapping Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef since I signed up for Hulu and figured I could watch them the day after they aired, since I watch ABCFamily shows live while those shows are airing on FOX. That's when I found out I needed to hold the phone. FOX only allows Hulu to air their shows a week after they have aired on the network. So I went to the FOX website and learned I could watch the shows on their website a day after they aired, but there was a hitch. I needed to be a subscriber to the right cable company otherwise I couldn't watch them.

I live in a small town and my cable provider is a small town cable provider. It definitely wasn't listed among the chosen cable companies you have to be a subscriber of for FOX to allow you to have access to their programs the day after they air. They require you to enter your cable ID and password to be able to view any of their shows that just aired, I guess so they can make sure you've paid for the right to view their shows.

When I lived back in San Francisco FOX was one of the local TV stations. It wasn't a cable station you had to be a cable subscriber to gain access to. Maybe that's changed. In Vermont there is no local television reception, so you have to subscribe to cable just to get your local TV stations. I tried to go watch Dallas online, since I only have basic cable and TNT isn't one of the stations I get, and I see they have the same rigid system set-up. Unless you are a subscriber of one of the cable companies they have listed and can pop in an ID number and password, they won't let you watch their programs, either.

With TNT I can understand it more. They are a premium cable station. They feel if they allow people who don't have cable to watch their shows, it'll be taking money away from them. But FOX isn't the same case. It's a local TV station. It airs the local news forecast. If it was a cable station it wouldn't do that. So what they're pulling is ridiculous.

It's also very stupid. A lot of people have started watching TV shows online so they don't have to put up with so many commercial interruptions. FOX is literally cutting off their nose to spite their face. They're cutting off a huge portion of their audience that might be viewing their shows online. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to watch a week old show when a new show just aired. No offense to Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef, but they're really not worth the trouble and hassle.

What really irritates me about the whole thing is ABCFamily is a cable station and they let you watch their shows the day after they air on ABCFamily. They're not so money-hungry that they're trying to cut-off another line of potential viewers to make sure you're a subscriber of the right cable company. And again, FOX isn't even a cable station. It's a local station that in most areas you can view for free.

The only thing I can think is FOX hopes to force people to watch their shows when they air to up their ratings, opposed to watching other TV shows on other stations and watching their programs online the next day. They've made it so only an elite member of people can have that privilege. I'm sorry, FOX, but I'm not going to forego watching my regular scripted TV shows all so I can watch your reality shows in a timely manner. I just won't watch them, at all. Or I'll only watch them if there's nothing better to watch.

This is what I mean by FOX cutting off its nose to spite its face. FOX is not the highest rated network on the air. In fact, it's pretty low-rated. So by cutting off a large portion of the audience that might be viewing their shows online, they're hurting themselves more than they're helping themselves. And it's extremely ridiculous because every other network allows you to view their programs online in a timely fashion without demanding you even be a cable subscriber.

In short, FOX, you are a network not a cable station, so why don't you start acting like it.


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