Networks Airing New Program Episodes on Internet

I gave up cable last year, and watch everything on my TV via my PC. I watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. I go to to watch Law and Order SVU the day after the new episode airs. If I wanted to watch an ABC or CBS program, I can, the day after they air. I still put up with commercials, but don’t pay a cable bill or have to have an antenna. I can even watch some of the cable network shows online not long after they air.
My question concerns the Fox Network. It used to be 8 days after the new episode aired, I would be able to watch it online. I still had to deal with commercials, which meant advertisers were paying Fox to air them as I watched. Me watching should translate into more advertising dough for the network. Now, the website says the episodes will be ‘unlocked’ 21 days after airing. Why doesn’t Fox want me to watch online? They’re able to sell advertising, and I get to watch the new programs. Win/Win, right? What makes them so different from NBC or ABC? Contracts with Seth MacFarlane?
If you are a satellite customer or even a customer of certain cable companies, you can log in and unlock the episodes the day after airing. I understand that, perhaps Fox isn’t carried in your market and it’s the only way you can watch. But isn’t the reason the networks aren’t carried by the provider because they can’t reach a deal in how much they’ll pay for the right to carry the network? So why would Fox want to partner with the provider when they couldn’t make a deal before to just air the programming to begin with?
Can anyone help me understand the deal with Fox? It seems to me the only reason behind any of it is to limit our access and make the programming more desirable, rather than flooding us with availability and tiring the demand for it.

Mods: Please relocate if this belongs in the Cafe, but I thought it was more of a general question since I would think there would have to be a definitive answer as to why they do business like this.

Moved to Cafe Society.

samclem Moderator

As far as I can tell, there is no reason other than Fox wanting to be able to make money from subscribers. They get some benefit from Internet viewers, so they can’t not show them online at all. So they came up with a sort of punishment for people who watch online.

Then they decided to change the punishment as an incentive for people to pay the cable/satelite providers who in turn pay them. To do that, they decreased the wait for those who pay, and increased it for those who didn’t.

It all boils down to money. There’s no dilution of the market concerns. Internet streaming just doesn’t make as much money as they can get with the cable providers. And, currently, no advertising model offsets this.

They’re delaying the inevitable shift to the Internet being the primary content distribution system for their products for as long as they can, as they make more money with the current system.