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Pushing The Limits Full Movie Online Free
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(AP) -- Broadcasters took a big step toward eliminating free TV shows on the Web after they blocked access to their programming online this month to enforce their demands to be paid. googletag.cmd.push(function() googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); ); Recent actions by Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS in two separate fee disputes suggest that after a few years of experimenting with free, ad-supported viewing, broadcasters believe they can make more money from cable TV providers if they hold back some programming online.That could mean new limits on online viewing are coming: Broadcasters might make fewer of their shows available to begin with, or delay when they become available - say, a month after an episode is broadcast, rather than the few hours it typically takes now.It would make it tougher for viewers to drop their cable TV subscriptions and watch shows online instead. If cable and satellite TV providers can hang on to more subscribers, broadcasters can then demand more money from them to carry their stations on the lineups.Last weekend, News Corp.'s Fox made TV programming history by blocking online access to its shows, including "Glee" to 2.6 million Cablevision Systems Corp. broadband Internet subscribers. It was part of a fee dispute over how much Cablevision pays to carry the signals of Fox-owned TV stations.At around the same time, ABC, NBC and CBS turned off access to full episodes when accessed from the new Google TV Web browser, which became available this month.Both actions sent the message that broadcasters are demanding to be paid for their shows wherever they are seen - just as new devices are making it easier to watch those shows on regular TV sets."Basically, they're trying to work hard to ensure that 'cord-cutting' is not an attractive option anymore," said analyst Derek Baine of research firm SNL Kagan, referring to the phenomenon of people cutting their cable subscriptions and catching shows online to save money.BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield put it more bluntly in a blog post on Monday. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ).push(); "Consumers must be made to realize that nothing is free anymore," he wrote.Fox's tactic wasn't entirely successful. It inadvertently drew into the dispute the Cablevision Internet customers who got their TV feeds from other companies such as DirecTV Inc. Fox abandoned its Internet blockade after about 12 hours following protests from several lawmakers, including Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member on a House subcommittee that oversees technology and the Internet.Fox TV stations have remained off Cablevision lineups since Oct. 16, though, as the two companies remained locked in dispute. Cablevision has about 3.1 million TV subscribers in the New York area.The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, General Electric Co.'s NBC and CBS Corp. also have been blocking Google TV's Web browser from playing their full shows on websites such as ABC.com and TV.com. The Sony television that came pre-installed with the Google software package can still access their channels like any other TV.Google Inc. conceded that it could not force the broadcasters to make their content available, even though they do so freely through other outlets."It is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform," Google said in a statement.In fact, the free Hulu online video site is already blocked from mobile phones. To watch shows on such devices, you need the $10-a-month Hulu Plus subscription plan.ABC, NBC, CBS and Cablevision declined to comment. Fox only reiterated its reason for lifting the online blackout.The online blockades showed that the broadcasters can target certain Internet users with blackouts based on their Internet providers or services. It also revealed how important it is for them to control who is watching - and paying for - their shows.For the past several years, broadcasters have been pushing cable and satellite operators to pay more to carry broadcast programming that can also be received over the air with a digital antenna. Because most people now get broadcast stations through subscription services, the cable and satellite operators have been grudgingly paying for the retransmission rights.Such fees have become an increasingly lucrative revenue stream that makes free over-the-air TV more closely resemble cable channels that require paid subscriptions.But broadcasters find they now must justify those payments. One way is to limit access to their shows for free online, just as Time Warner Inc.'s HBO and other cable channels limit access to their programs on the Web. Access requires passwords tied to cable subscriptions. Baine and Greenfield said broadcasters would likely move to this "walled garden" approach as well.Time Warner is pursuing such a model, called "TV Everywhere." It would allow paying TV customers to watch shows from its channels including TNT and TBS online after proving their identity. In a similar move, Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable TV provider, announced Friday that subscribers who pay for plans that include ESPN would also get access to live sports shows online through ESPN3.com starting Monday. Video on that site is restricted to customers of participating subscription TV providers.Separately, broadcasters are selling their shows online for as little as 99 cents through places such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes store and on Amazon.com - another method that ensures they get paid.Collins Stewart analyst Thomas Eagan said Fox's inability to exactly target customers that relied on Cablevision for both video and Internet access could prompt it to simply withdraw some programs from the Web altogether. "At the end of the day, you're more likely to end up seeing content companies changing what they make available for free online," he said. 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un drew throngs of moviegoers, as it became an unlikely symbol of free speech thanks to hacker threats that nearly scuppered its release. The future of Sony's "The Interview" had been in doubt after the entertainment giant said it was canceling the release following an embarrassing cyber attack on its corporate network and threats against patrons. But massive support for its release, including from the White House, saw it open in theaters in the end. And it was more than 300 independently owned theaters that took up the mantle on Thursday, with some moviegoers dressed in patriotic red, white and blue or saying they were driven to see the film by their belief in free speech. "It's controversial so I want to see it. I think it's something important, showing the freedom in the United States," said Adolfo Loustalot as he queued up to buy tickets outside "Los Feliz 3" cinema in Los Angeles. The film was also available on a variety of digital platforms, including Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and on a Sony website. Star Seth Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg made a surprise appearance at one of the first showings in Los Angeles just after midnight, when they thanked moviegoers and theaters for pushing to get the film out. "We thought this might not happen at all," Rogen told a cheering crowd. The theater was near Rogen and Goldberg's homes, the men said. "The fact that it's showing here and that you guys all came out," Goldberg said, "is super fucking exciting," Rogen finished. Many of the biggest US movie theater chains had got cold feet about showing the film after anonymous online threats, prompting Sony to pull the film. The United States has blamed the Sony cyber attack on North Korea, and President Barack Obama has threatened reprisals. - Free speech - But Sony came under fire from Obama and free speech advocates for canceling the release. "I probably would not be seeing this movie, and certainly not today, but with all the controversies I think it was important to come out and watch it," said Jeff Crowley, 49, seeing the movie at a sold-out independent theater in the capital Washington. "To me it was more about the precedent that was setting in... we don't want all these studios afraid of what they can say the next time around." Josh Levin, a co-owner of the West End Cinema that often screens more sophisticated films, said he was showing the movie on principle and that it had been warmly received. "We sold out all our tickets for today in less than one hour. We are sold out for tomorrow and Saturday," Levin said. The madcap, irreverent R-rated comedy was also available online for US and Canadian viewers starting Wednesday. "After discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country -- however silly the content might be," Google chief legal officer David Drummond said in a blog post. The movie was being distributed on Google's YouTube for a $5.99 rental fee, on the Google Play app for Android devices and on a dedicated website, seetheinterview.com. The Google search engine also promoted the film on its homepage. On vacation in Hawaii, Obama, who had previously called Sony's move to cancel showings a mistake, told reporters he was "glad it's being released." A bawdy, expletive-laden tale full of sexual innuendo and scatological humor, the film starring Rogen and James Franco is a silly, low-brow romp about a CIA plot to assassinate Kim. The film depicts how girl-chasing, hard-partying, always fashionable tabloid TV presenter Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) score an exclusive interview with the leader of the world's most reclusive state. That is when the CIA steps in and presents them with a plan to kill Kim. Despite initial doubts, Skylark eventually learns the truth about the regime's brutality, and he sets out to take down Kim by exposing him as a liar during his live interview.