Fox is experimenting with nightly simulcasts of its primetime programming on its website and through its Fox Now app, an ambitious live-streaming initiative that's the first of its kind among major broadcast networks. American viewers in all 210 of the country's TV markets will be able to live stream Fox's shows on iOS and Android devices, Apple TVs, and through Google Chromecasts, complete with local-market advertising and station branding. The live-streaming will be available seven nights a week, and the program beta kicked off last night with an episode of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. It'll expand to include all of Fox's new fall shows and some of its award properties (like the Teen Choice Awards) as the summer rolls on.
This should be commonplace for networks pretty soon
Fox and many other networks already live stream much of their sports programming (though without the specialized local commercials), and pay cable services — notably HBO — support quasi-live-streaming by making new episodes of their shows available on demand as soon as they start airing. Fox's experiment is also dependent on cable authentication, meaning you can't just hop online and watch Scream Queens if you're not already paying for a cable subscription. With all of those caveats on the table, it's still an interesting step forward, one you can easily imagine all of the other major broadcast networks taking in the next few years.
"From the start of the on-demand and over-the-top viewing revolution, Fox has been at the forefront of providing greater access to our buzz-defining shows," said Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman in a statement. "Adding nationwide primetime live streams is just another great example of how the Fox Digital Consumer Group... is innovating to give viewers the convenience and flexibility to watch our programming whenever and wherever they want."