Disney-ABC Starts Up First-Of-Its-Kind Watch ABC Service

Starting perhaps the most ambitious live digital video service to date, Disney/ABC Television is launching Watch ABC -- the first live broadcast network streaming linear service.

"Watch ABC," where viewers and access ABC Network programming live 24/7 on digital devices, will start up May 14 in New York City and Philadelphia as part of a special limited promotion, timed to the ABC upfront television presentation, and free for all viewers in those markets. Disney-ABC also struck an agreement for Watch ABC with the 13 Hearst-owned ABC affiliated stations which will launch in the coming months.

Watch ABC will expand to all ABC-owned stations for the new fall 2013 fall broadcast season.

Watch ABC is an authenticated service that consumers can get free if they are a paying customer of a cable, satellite, or telco multichannel programming service. Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse have signed on for the Watch ABC effort.



Previous Disney-ABC network digital app video services include the ABC Full Episode Player for online and ABC Player for tablets and phones. Those services, however, did not offer live programming -- but rather video-on-demand entertainment programming that previously ran on the ABC network.

But Disney-ABC has launched live streaming/on-demand services before under the same "Watch" brand name: Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior started up in June 2012. Before that Watch ESPN was launched, a live streaming service for six ESPN networks.

Plans are also in place to roll out Watch ABC Family in early 2014.

"This announcement represents a defining moment in technology and distribution, as well as for our advertising and affiliate partners, as we ensure that our high-quality content is available to viewers on a variety of devices,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, in a release.

The special open-access preview in New York and Philadelphia runs through the end of June.

1 comment about "Disney-ABC Starts Up First-Of-Its-Kind Watch ABC Service".
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  1. Geoff Simon from SSPR, May 13, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.

    So this is why ESPN wants to subsidize your data plan? I wonder if this will prompt the FCC to revisit the 'Open Internet' rules?

    People aren't just watching content on TV's anymore, they're watching content on all kinds of devices that require connectivity, at least Disney is trying to keep ahead of the curve and let their customers indulge in all the quality programming there is to offer.

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