Disney/ABC Television Launches Watch ABC Service

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Disney/ABC Television is launching Watch ABC, which will be the first live broadcast network streaming linear service.

Watch ABC will allow viewers to access ABC Network programming live 24/7 on digital devices. Watch ABC will begin May 14 in New York City and Philadelphia as part of a special limited promotion. It will be free for all viewers in those markets. Disney/ABC also made 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 broadcast season. Watch ABC is an authenticated service that you can get free if you are a paying customer of a cable, satellite, or telco multichannel programming service. So far, the following companies have signed on to participate in Watch ABC- Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse.

Disney-ABC network digital app video services in the past have included the ABC Full Episode Player for online and ABC Player for tablets and phones. Those services did not offer live programming, though. Instead, they offered video-on-demand entertainment programming that previously had been on the ABC network.

Disney-ABC has launched live streaming/on-demand services previously under the same “Watch” brand name: Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior, which began in June 2012. Before that, Watch ESPN was launched, which is a live streaming service for six ESPN networks. There are also currently discussions to launch 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.

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Disney/ABC Television Launches Watch ABC Service

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