Free Streaming Restricted by Canadian Network
I've been streaming TV shows for years. Ever since I discovered that TV networks offered an on-demand option to access the content they air on TV each week, I've pretty much dropped watching TV and relied on the streaming option. It just made more sense for me.
I could watch a show when I wanted, and not just on the night when the network aired the episode.
I could pause if I needed to walk away, or rewind if I missed something the first time.
I could go back to watch a previous episode I'd missed, and I sometimes even made a marathon of watching several weeks' worth of episodes in a single evening.
Free Streaming Gets Locked Down
Unfortunately, over time the networks have introduced a number of measures to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu. In Canada, the latest thing is locking episodes of our favourite TV shows , and asking us to sign into the streaming service via our cable TV or satellite provider.
Yup, that definitely puts an end to people using on-demand streaming as an alternative to paying for cable!
Now some Canadian networks like CBC don't seem to have implemented this measure at all. Others, like CTV, seem to be limiting the number of episodes that are available at a given time, but don't seem to be in direct collusion with the cable and satellite providers.
TV Broadcasters Compete with Netflix
This is not the case with networks like Global, however. The trend is towards locking down what used to be free streaming for the TV shows that network distributes. Over the last few weeks I've noticed that most of the content on Global's video page displays the lock icon. A few of the most recent episodes are still available free of charge, but for certain shows it seemed that even the latest episode was only accessible if the viewer logs in through their TV provider.
Why such a move? Well, aside from the questions surrounding the expense of offering free streaming services, Global TV network is owned by Shaw Media – a cable and satellite TV provider, and the owner of speciality channels like Slice and History, that can only be accessed through a paid TV provider. So it's not in Global's best interests to be offering free, what its parent company sells.
But Shaw has also been prompting Canadian legislators to classify services like Netflix as broadcasters , so these competing companies would have to contribute their share to the expense of protecting Canadian content.
So really, it's not surprising Global is restricting access. But it is still a let-down for people who live on a fixed income, and who can't necessarily afford the price of today's cable and satellite packages.
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/television-tv-tube-tv-angry-evil-148830/