6:45pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
ABC Unveils First App for Television Offerings
ABC is debuting an app for viewers to watch live television on computers and mobile devices.
ABC-owned and operated affiliates in New York and Philadelphia will begin live streaming its shows and local programming on Tuesday, coinciding with the network's upfront presentation.
From Tuesday through the end of June, users in New York and Philadelphia can try it out for free. It will then be available to local paying customers of cable and satellite service providers, including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse.
ABC will be the first broadcast network to offer such an app.
The Watch ABC service -- which will also provide on-demand programming -- will initially be available online at ABC.com or by downloading the app to iOS and Kindle Fire devices (and soon Samsung Galaxy).
Plans are to expand the service this summer to ABC-owned affiliates in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. ABC also inked a deal with Hearst Television to offer the service through Hearst’s 13 ABC stations.
Supporting Watch ABC is a live linear streaming service from startup upLynk. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, upLynk’s co-founder and CMO, Ken Brueck related that its functions include enabling the affiliates to replace TV advertising with digital ads, removing programming that doesn’t have rebroadcast rights, and handling online closed captioning.
"We think this is the missing piece in the TV Everywhere play," he said of ABC's plans. "No matter how much on demand is available, you also want live content. ... I think we'll see other networks jumping on board."
Disney/ABC Television was upLynx’s first customer and has already deployed upLynk to manage encoding and delivery of content for streaming for the Watch Disney apps, including Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney Junior and Watch Disney XD.