Want to watch the Oscars this Sunday, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, no need to dust off the television: you can watch it right from your iPhone or iPad via the Watch ABC app. Unfortunately, though, there’s a catch, and a big one.
Although the app will allow you to stream the Academy Awards along with the the live preshow and backstage content, you can only watch it in certain markets, and even then only if you’ve got the right cable provider.
But to watch the full kudocast, you need to be lucky enough to live in the right place — and have the right pay-TV provider. The show’s livestream will be available to Watch ABC authenticated users through eight providers: Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse. The service is available only in ABC’s eight owned-station markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Fresno, Calif.
It’s a rights issue, of course, but it seems ridiculous that you can’t stream the Oscars live even if you aren’t a cable customer. After all, the Oscars are broadcast over local television airwaves too. Boo.