Internet Television / Video Streaming/Streaming Network TV Live


I have a very simple question.  Why can you not stream network tv live?  My view is that if you are lucky enough to live close enough to an ABC affiliate for example, then you get the content for free using an antennae anyway.  Why then penalize people who do not live close enough to a broadcaster to be able to do this?  A simple solution would be to just make all the content stream-able from their website.  Now I know certain networks make shows available shortly after they have aired live (sometimes maybe just a few days later) but I still don't see why this is necessary.  Just make everything stream-able - and "LIVE".  I know commercials are local, so one could key in their zip code to make sure you are seeing the commercials for your area.  

I have three theories:

1) They are afraid people will find a way to bypass all commercials, or are afraid of people recording the broadcast, though that doesn't make sense because you can do the latter now and probably the prior if you were clever enough.

2) They are in cahoots with the cable and satellite companies.  People who don't live close enough to get the signal over the air are subscribing to cable and satellite companies in order to be able to access the networks.  This boosts the cable and satellite viewership and increases their revenue while also boosting the network's bottom line because the cable and satellite companies are paying for it.

3) The actual affiliates who own the towers, equipment, etc. necessary to rebroadcast and distribute the network shows to their local area are paying the networks to do this.  In turn, they are the ones who get the local advertising dollars.

I think I've probably got it nailed down to a combination of #2 and #3 but if I'm wrong or am missing something I'd love to know.

My real question is, "Is there a way around it?"  Is there anything coming up in the near future?  I only know of one company that is trying to essentially skirt some of this bullarkey: Aereo.

Thanks so much for the response.

Nathan, you have indeed nailed it. It's all about protecting various revenue streams, and the folks who fund the legislation are big companies with deep pockets. Unfortunately, the solution you suggested, providing a zip code to ensure you're only seeing local commercials, as viable as that may be, such arrangements have not been worked out, either technologically or contractually.

I was even going to mention Aereo, but then I saw you're already aware of that. I think within the next 5 years, this will be a common delivery vehicle, but as I mentioned, there are some technical and legal hurdles before it happens. But I do believe it's only a matter of time.


Internet Television / Video Streaming

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Tedd Adams


I can answer questions on most types of legal video streaming options, such as Netflix, Roku, Internet-enabled TVs, Hulu, etc. Out of respect for copyright holders, I will not answer questions regarding BitTorrent or other peer-to-peer sharing, where content creators are deprived of their due royalties. I can only answer questions from the viewpoint of a consumer of video services. I have been getting a lot of questions from the standpoint of someone wishing to create content. THIS IS OUTSIDE MY EXPERTISE. My expertise is also limited to knowledge of streaming services and the content available on them, how to subscribe to them, etc. I CANNOT assist with hardware configuration questions.


I have been a cord cutter for over 5 years. My current setup includes a Roku HD box, a PC attached to my computer and surround sound system, and subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu Plus. I dropped Cox Communications as my cable TV provider and am saving over $100 a month.

Tulsa World

Masters of Organizational Management, University of Phoenix
Bachelors of Psychology, John Brown University

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