Making broadcast television's boldest TV Everywhere move yet, Fox announced that it is now offering authenticated live-streaming of its prime-time programming in all 210 of its markets.
While rival Big Four networks have offered authenticated streaming of their programming through their owned and operated stations, Fox is the first to tie in a comprehensive web of its affiliate stations to offer true national coverage.
Still in what 21st Century Fox officials describe as a beta phase, the live-streaming initiative kicked off Monday night with the presentation of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. Live streams are available through Fox.com website and the Fox Now app.
Typically, owned and operated stations only cover about 20 percent of the U.S. TV market.
The inability to tie in affiliate stations into a comprehensive live-streaming model is one of the reasons Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) struggled to get its reported virtual pay-TV service off the ground.
"A year later, there's now more of a structure to have the affiliates participate in OTT products," MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson said at a recent company presentation.
The Fox initiative, of course, is not over-the-top — live streamers will have to authenticate a pay-TV subscription in order to get the live stream.
Fox says its beta is reaching 98 percent of pay-TV subscribers.
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