Disney-ABC To Speed Up Local TV Digital Adoption For Affiliates

Looking to give its TV station affiliates quicker leverage in monetizing digital revenue, Disney-ABC Television is creating easier turnkey digital platform deals for ABC’s TV Everywhere content with traditional pay TV and over-the-top digital providers.

ABC’s "Clearinghouse" business effort will provide ABC affiliates with the opportunity to opt into “pre-negotiated agreements” for digital distribution of their live, linear feeds as well as opportunities for local VOD distribution.

ABC has been frustrated -- much like other TV networks -- when it comes to TV stations' slow efforts with digital local TV offerings for live streaming and authenticated, TV Everywhere-approved, time-shifted viewing options via traditional pay TV and new over-the-top providers.

Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television Group, made the announcement in his keynote speech at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas.

Fleshing out these new pre-negotiated deals, Sherwood said the Hearst TV station group will start a pilot program, building on a technological and business “template” that ABC hammered out with DirecTV -- a traditional pay TV provider. ABC has also set a template agreement with Sony PlayStation Vue -- a new digital over-the-top service.

In his remarks, Sherwood said: “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.”

ABC says Hearst Television will pilot the DirecTV Clearinghouse affiliate opt-in across Hearst 14 local ABC stations, rolling out of Watch ABC TV Everywhere early this summer.

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