Disney Mulling Whether to Put Shows Behind Online Paywall

Last month Fox announced that it would limit access to shows the day after they air, except to viewers who have logged in with their cable IDs. Everyone else will have to wait eight days to view that content on Fox.com or Hulu.

It’s a fairly dumb move that really just encourages piracy more than anything. The people who watch it live are going to do just that, then you’ve got the people that will DVR the shows and for everyone else that wants to watch a Fox show, instead of waiting a week, they’ll just pirate the show. If you’re savvy enough to not have cable, you’re savvy enough to pirate the shows and not wait a week because you couldn’t authenticate to watch it the next day.

Stupid. Anyway, now Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC is mulling this same plan. There’s nothing worse than watching media executives flail around and be five years behind understanding where technology is at.

Here’s the key sentence: “Limiting streaming access to authenticated customers might lower the number of viewers who tune in online, but the plan could help broadcasters like ABC and Fox extract more revenues from distributors through retransmission deals. On the call, Iger said he expects revenues from retrans deals to grow to $400-$500 million by 2015.”

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