ABC Launches Live Television Streaming via App

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Posted 4 years ago

ABC Launches Live Television Streaming via AppTelevision network ABC is set to offer live streaming to the residents of New York and Philadelphia this week, with the launch of a brand-new app for mobile devices.

According to the New York Times, which broke the story, the Disney-owned network will become the first channel to offer constant live streaming of local television programming, and is expected to provide users of the smartphone and tablet app with the same content as found on TV sets. Named Watch ABC (in keeping with the existing WatchESPN and Watch Disney apps), the app will provide users with a “live” button that can be pressed to activate the live streaming of content from all ABC channels. Nevertheless, the programming will not be available to everyone – only those that are paying subscribers to cable and satellite providers, and who will be required to authenticate accounts on the app before being given access to streaming.

New York and Philadelphia will be the first to receive the service; however, ABC says it will bring the live streaming to a further six cities by summer and is already in talks to offer content to more than 200 markets.

Going down the ‘TV everywhere’ route is nothing new for Disney, having launched WatchESPN back in early 2011, and a similar service was used to great effect by NBC Sports during the 2012 Summer Olympics. The move by ABC, though, is definitely a timely one. The way that we watch TV is changing, and, thanks to the likes of YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, more and more people are viewing content on mobile devices. No longer are we required to view our favorite shows from the inside of our homes; we can now watch them when and where we want.

Streaming startup Aereo, with its antenna/DVR technology, was one of the first to successfully embrace continuous over-the-air broadcasting, and has recently won a victory in court, allowing its mobile-web service to continue, following accusations from major networks that it was in breach of copyrights. That victory was a very significant one, and means that ABC is doing now what all of the networks will probably have to do in the future, if they are to survive.

– Anthony Carter

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