The new initiative will offer the network’s affiliates pre-negotiated agreements for digital distribution of their live, linear feeds as well as potential opportunities for local VOD distribution. First on board are Hearst’s 14 ABC affils.
ABC’s Sherwood Unveils ABC Clearinghouse
ABC’s Ben Sherwood used his keynote address at the opening session of the NAB Show in Las Vegas Monday morning to announce a new initiative at ABC that Sherwood said is designed to help affiliates make arrangements for distributing their local content on a variety of platforms.
The initiative, dubbed ABC Clearinghouse, “provides ABC affiliates [with] the opportunity to opt into pre-negotiated agreements for digital distribution of their live, linear feeds as well as potential opportunities for local VOD distribution,” ABC said in a news release after Sherwood delivered his speech.
In his speech, the announcement came in the context of remarks Sherwood made about the durability of local and network television, and the industry’s ability to innovate.
“We need to innovate across every front,” said Sherwood, who is co-chairman, Disney Media Works, and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. “Building on our leadership in the TV Everywhere space, we’ve pioneered creative, three-way Clearinghouse distribution arrangements among ABC, our affiliates, and our video providers.
“These efficient, turnkey deals allow our affiliates to opt into partnerships that work for them, preserving the powerful local/national relationship while expediting the delivery of their signals into new consumer spaces that viewers are demanding. This is win-win. Consumers get the viewing choices they demand. And our affiliates get distribution opportunities that accelerate their involvement,” he said.
ABC said the network “will roll-out the initiative to affiliates in the coming months, beginning with two opportunities. The network has formulated the technical and distribution components of deals between the ABC Owned Television Stations and DirecTV for the Watch ABC TV Everywhere service and Sony Playstation Vue, and will use these as templates for the Clearinghouse offerings.”
Sherwood announced that the 14 ABC affiliates owned by Hearst would “pilot” the DirecTV Clearinghouse “affiliate opt-in” when “Watch ABC TV Everywhere” rolls out early this summer.
“Hearst Television is looking forward to launching the ABC app and to continuing to partner with ABC on innovative distribution efforts designed to better serve our communities,” said Jordan Wertlieb, president, Hearst Television, in a statement that was part of ABC’s press release.
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