Fox’s half-hour “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project” comedies have been be streamed 8/27 on digital platforms before their 9/25 premiere on Fox. They’ll be available via Yahoo, Fox.com, IMDB and Hulu, as well as the 70 other sites (like Facebook) that host the Hulu player.
The episodes will also be available on pay-TV VOD and can be downloaded for free on electronic-sell-through (EST) platforms including Amazon, XBox and Best Buy/CinemaNow, reports Variety.
Fox’s continuing belief in pre-air distribution reflects new data Comcast is sharing that attempts to draw a link between early exposure for new shows in recent years across Xfinity On Demand. Ratings increases with those same shows show up on their network TV debuts, said the story.
However, the availability of “Mindy” and “Ben” for two weeks nearly a month before their on-air premiere marks a significant deviation from the two-week gap that separated Fox’s online preview of “New Girl” last year from its on-air debut, Variety noted.
RBR-TVBR observation: The balance that needs to be achieved is making an episode available in its entirety before its premiere online may help drive tune-in when it launches on the network, but it could also cannibalize part of the audience by giving them no reason to tune in to something they’ve already seen. Either way, viewing habits are changing so rapidly that this is a good way to keep online-prone viewers in the mix, regardless if they go to the TV side or not.