With a complete redesign of the user interface and user experience, this re-launch offers the new social features as well as more sponsorship opportunities for advertisers.
Starting Jan. 6 the network will restrict next-day access to new episodes of TV shows to subscribers of participating pay TV affiliates and Hulu Plus. Whereas previously ABC shows were available to anyone for free, under the new system only paying subs will have next-day access. The shows will be free without a subscription after one week.
With this addition, the live, 24/7 linear broadcast network streaming service is now available in all eight ABC Owned Station markets with KFSN roll-out. Hearst Television also plans to launch the Watch ABC service in its 13 ABC station markets, which include Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Milwaukee, in the coming months.
Watch ABC will be available to viewers in Houston, giving pay TV subscribers access to the market’s KTRK 24 hours a day, seven days a week online and on their mobile devices. The service will roll out in Fresno, Calif., prior to the launch of the new fall broadcast television season in September.
The live 24/7 linear broadcast network streaming service is now offered in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Also today, customers who had enjoyed free live viewing of local ABC stations in New York and Philadelphia on mobile devices will now need to show they are pay TV subscribers.
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
Users who downloaded or updated ABC’s new app that allows for a live linear stream of local and network content are complaining about technical glitches and too many commercials before live content begins.
Disney/ABC said that it will launch its Watch ABC service tomorrow featuring the live streaming of WABC New York and WPVI Philadelphia. Hearst is the first station group to sign on to provide the service with its eight ABC affiliates. Disney/ABC said it expects to reach agreements with other affiliate groups before the start of the fall season.
The network, staking a claim to growth in online video ads, will brief advertisers next week on a service providing live shows on mobile phones and tablets, people with knowledge of the plan said. Watch ABC, a first-of-its-kind application from a broadcaster, will stream live and archived shows to pay-TV subscribers, said the people, who sought anonymity because the plans aren’t public.
Disney/ABC President Anne Sweeney has invited affiliates to work out a deal over the Watch ABC live streaming concept over the next year or so. She’s proposing that affiliates would pay the network a fee to stream ABC programming through the cable and satellite operators serving their markets, and the affiliates could then seek retransmission consent payments from the operators.
The networks tells its affils that it wants to work with them in developing an ABC TV everywhere service that allows cable and satellite subscribers to watch on mobile devices. Each affiliate would be able to offer a locally branded service within its market. ABC would charge affiliates for the programming rights, but they could recoup those fees and perhaps make a profit by charging operators as they do for retransmission consent.