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ABC updates iOS app with live streams of all programming in select markets

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Tuesday saw the launch of a new version of broadcaster ABC's iOS app, one that for the first time will allow users in select markets to watch live television from a U.S. broadcaster.

watchabc


Version 3.0.0 saw ABC's app's name change from ABC Player to Watch ABC. App users in New York City and Philadelphia will now have the ability to see a live stream of ABC's programming, and plans are underway to roll out the live service to at least six more markets where ABC owns local stations.

The live stream feature will arrive in an additional 13 Hearst-owned stations over the rest of the year. ABC is working to bring the feature to users in other markets, but that will depend on the willingness of more than 200 local broadcasters to join in on the live streaming.

The service is currently unrestricted, but ABC's release notes for the app state that the app will begin verifying whether users are customers of an eligible local cable system beginning July 1.

The live streaming move is a first among the major U.S. broadcast networks, and it signals a shift in their thinking. While cable giant ESPN ? which, like ABC, is also owned by Disney ? has gradually grown the capabilities of its apps to the point where it now includes the ability to watch live content, the broadcasters have been reluctant to move beyond delayed release of content to their apps.

Those mainstays of the television world, though, have seen their business model come under threat as users increasingly opt to consume television on mobile devices. Presented with the option to watch shows in bulk on Netflix and on time-delay with DVR technology and services like Apple's iTunes, consumers are upsetting the model that has until recently defined television.

The live streaming also functions as a salvo against services like Hulu. The near future will see ABC holding back its most recent TV episodes from the free versions of Hulu and ABC.com, according to The New York Times.

Among the more troubling developments has been the rise of Aereo, a service that uses antennas to capture broadcast content and stream it to subscribers, who watch it on their iPads and other mobile devices. The major broadcast networks say Aereo's service amounts to illegal rebroadcasting, a violation of their content rights. So far, though, the courts have disagreed.

By putting its own live content out in an app that it controls, ABC is taking a risk, but also partly wresting control from Aereo and similar services. Announcing the move, Disney-ABC Television Group president said it was the result of a realization that ABC wasn't moving fast enough to give consumers what they want.

"We keep a very close eye on consumer demand," said Anne Sweeney, the Television Group president. "We watch how people are behaving with their devices, and we really felt that we needed to move faster."

The Watch ABC app is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store. The 38.8MB download requires an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later.
post #2 of 8

main content link from front page is broken

post #3 of 8

These guys are going to have to learn the hard way....being tied to a cable company sucks.

 

I tried SprintTV on my iPhone and it sucks, too.

 

Watching TV via cable is expensive and the incessant commercials are annoying. Watching TV on the   internet right now is just terrible.

post #4 of 8

Its completely pointless if they're going to require you to be a cable subscriber. The local ABC affiliates are available for free over the air, so why make you pay for cable to get it on your iphone/ipad? Internet delivery is the way to go. I would pay to get some channels via internet, but there's no way I'm going to pay for cable's ripoffs.

 
 
post #5 of 8
'Select markets'? Fail.

(Quite apart from the fact that, sadly, ABC has almost nothing worth watching).
post #6 of 8

Looks like is doesn't support AirPlay. I'm sorry if I can't send shows to my tv to watch I'm not going to be interested in the app.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The service is currently unrestricted, but ABC's release notes for the app state that the app will begin verifying whether users are customers of an eligible local cable system beginning July 1.

 

There is another hint that Apple can not offer a live TV service without involving Cable. Cant wait to see if we will get some news on the TV front at the WWDC. I am expecting an Apple TV software revamp and maybe and finally an app store.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryand View Post

Its completely pointless if they're going to require you to be a cable subscriber. The local ABC affiliates are available for free over the air, so why make you pay for cable to get it on your iphone/ipad? Internet delivery is the way to go. I would pay to get some channels via internet, but there's no way I'm going to pay for cable's ripoffs.

 
 

 

The fact that you can get it for free OTA and it requires cable for internet is pretty wierd indeed. TV channels are own by big Cable cartels and this is why it gets wierd like that. I think ABC is own by Disney, but if you dig more I am sure you will find some major shareholders that trace back to cable or DSL.

 

On the other hand, they need to make sure someone in the middle of nowhere cant stop watching its local ABC's in favor of the NY feed. That would hurt local stations all over the US. Maybe there are others ways than cable subscription to confirm youre location.


Edited by herbapou - 5/15/13 at 6:39am
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