All episodes of ABC’s new series from the current 2016-17 season, along with several returning shows, will for the first time be available to “authenticated viewers” on digital platform. Prior to this, they could access only the trailing five episodes.
With live viewership of most U.S. TV channels in decline, the most-watched networks are trying to lure audiences back by making it easier to catch reruns. As they unveiled their 2016-17 program schedules last week in New York, the four major broadcast networks acknowledged the need to offer viewers on-demand access to current shows, a prize known as in-season stacking.
This year, there is a new element that has made network negotiations with outside studios even more complicated — in-season stacking rights, which allow nets to stream all episodes from a series’ current season on its platforms.