FOX has imposed limits on watching new episode of its popular shows on websites. The network announced that as of August 15 users will need a login and password to prove they subscribe to participating cable or satellite services or Hulu Plus if they want to watch its programs online.
Meanwhile, consumers who don't subscribe will only be able to watch such primetime shows as "Glee", "House M.D." and "The Simpsons" online eight days following their initial air dates. Previously, the shows were made available online the day after they aired for free, with commercials.
Satellite TV firm Dish Network is the first pay-TV service to sign onto FOX's new arrangement. Authenticated Dish customers can watch new episodes of the network's shows on Fox.com, Hulu.com, Dishonline.com, or "the online TV portals of any future participating distributors."
The strategy called "authentication" has been discussed as a part of the television industry's attempt to reduce the risk of cord cutting and to keep receiving revenue from user subscriptions and advertisements.
FOX becoming the first network taking this move is ironic because, back in 2008, its parent company, News Corp., along with NBC Universal launched the free online offering Hulu to fight Internet piracy.