×

ABC Moves Live TV App Behind Pay-TV Wall

Alphabet net expands TV Everywhere test to L.A., Chicago, San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham, available only via participating cable and telco partners

ABC’s rolling experiment with TV Everywhere for live local broadcast feeds entered its next phase, as the Alphabet net expanded access to the Watch ABC service to four more markets — but is now restricting access to only subscribers of a handful of pay TV partners.

At this point, the biggest question marks are how many viewers ABC can actually get to tune in to local TV especially given the authentication requirement, and how effectively the broadcaster will be able to sell and measure ads through Watch ABC.

In May, Disney/ABC Television Group launched beta version of the app for Apple’s iPad and iPhone and Amazon Kindle tablets for its owned-and-operated stations in New York City (WABC-TV) and Philadelphia (WPVI-TV). Initially that was available for free to any users located in those markets.

But now the paywall has gone up, even as ABC has expanded to four more O&O’s in Los Angeles (KABC-TV), Chicago (WLS-TV), San Francisco (KGO-TV) and Raleigh-Durham (WTVD-TV).

SEE ALSO: ABC to Stream Live Via App

Currently Disney/ABC TV has agreements in place for its lineup of authenticated Watch products — which include WatchESPN and Watch Disney Channel — with six pay TV providers: Comcast, Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse. Those six represent a little more than one-third of the U.S. pay TV landscape, with DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable representing the biggest gaps.

Also Monday, Alphabet net released a version of the Watch ABC app on select Android tablets, including Samsung Galaxy devices. In addition, eligible viewers can also access live TV online at http://watchabc.go.com.

Watch ABC, in addition to live local broadcasts, provides on-demand access to full episodes of ABC daytime and primetime programming.

Prior to launch of fall broadcast season, ABC plans to roll out Watch ABC to the final two ABC-owned station markets — Houston (KTRK-TV) and Fresno (KFSN-TV).

Meanwhile, Hearst Television “in the coming months” also plans to launch the Watch ABC service in their 13 ABC station markets, which include Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Milwaukee. Alphabet net said it expects to ink deals with other station groups prior to the fall season.

SEE ALSO: CBS Weighs Options for Live Mobile TV

More TV

  • Tan France Jameela Jamil

    TV News Roundup: Tan France, Jameela Jamil Among OZY Fest Headliners

    In today’s TV news roundup, OZY Media announced Tan France, Jameela Jamil and others as headliners of OZY Fest, and Netflix dropped the official trailer of “On My Block” Season 3. DATES Disney Channel‘s second season of “Just Roll With It” will premiere on Sunday, March 15 at 8:45 p.m. The sitcom follows the Bennett-Blatt family [...]

  • Lorraine Toussaint

    Queen Latifah's 'Equalizer' Reboot Pilot at CBS Casts Lorraine Toussaint

    Lorraine Toussaint has joined the CBS’ reboot pilot for “The Equalizer,” Variety has learned. She joins previously announced series lead Queen Latifah and recently announced cast member Liza Lapira. In the reimagined version, Queen Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, an enigmatic figure who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. Toussaint [...]

  • Ben Schnetzer

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick

    Ben Schnetzer has stepped into the role of Yorick Brown in FX’s upcoming “Y: The Last Man” series, Variety has learned. He takes over the role from Barry Keoghan, who exited the series at the beginning of this month. The show is based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s award-winning DC Comics graphic novel series [...]

  • Herb Dorfman Obit Dead

    Herb Dorfman, Orion Pictures Home Video Executive, Dies at 77

    Herb Dorfman, former Orion Pictures executive and a home video industry veteran, died Feb. 25 of complications from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. He was 77. Dorfman served as head of home entertainment for Orion Pictures from 1987 to late 1996. Orion was a prosperous independent studio in those days that turned out a steady stream [...]

  • Black Panther

    What's Coming to Disney Plus in March 2020

    Disney Plus will continue to expand its library next month, adding older films as well as new television shows, releasing as both weekly episodes and entire seasons. After streaming on Netflix for over a year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” is making its way to Disney Plus, leaving just “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” [...]

  • Bob Chapek

    What Disney's Theme Parks Reveal About New CEO Bob Chapek

    Theme parks and resorts aren’t likely top of mind for the industry set when they think of Disney. But in light of the recent (and very swift) appointment of parks and consumer products head Bob Chapek to succeed Bob Iger as Disney CEO, Chapek’s recent interviews at the parks offer a few insights about the [...]

  • LOVE IS BLIND Lauren and Cameron

    Are Lauren and Cameron From 'Love Is Blind' Still Together?

    The finale to Netflix’s “Love is Blind” has been revealed, unleashing an emotional wave of broken hearts and shattered engagements across the the internet. Warning — “Love is Blind” finale spoilers below. After several on-the-altar dismissals and full on “the wedding is canceled” speeches, it was contestants Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton, who salvaged most [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content