ABC Introduces Local Live Streaming App

Disney owned ABC has always been more forward thinking with its mobile apps, and soon an ABC app for iPhone and iPad will have a “live” button that will deliver live streaming of it’s broadcast affiliates to users in New York and Philadelphia.

It’s clear that startup Aereo is a good idea because it has inspired major broadcast companies to think different about how they do business. The Inquisitrfirst reported that ABC was working on deals with its affiliates in April. Then it was only a rumor. Now ABC has made the news official.

Unfortunately, live streaming will only be available to viewers who verify within the app that they are cable or satellite subscribers. It’s a start toward change that makes more sense that the Fox and CBS threat to stop broadcasting over the air to keep Aereo from delivering their programing without paying a subscribers fee to the networks.

By this summer the “live” button will start to work in at least six other markets, and according to The New York Times, ABC is talking to all of its affiliate stations about going live too.

The new app will be called “Watch ABC” and will work as if your iDevice had a built-in antenna and TV tuner. Ads will be different, though because ABC needs to measure views separately from the way Nielsen measures ads on live TV.

The development team was giving a deadline of May 14 to build the app so it could be demonstrated at ABC’s upfront. By the time live streaming starts to roll out in markets other than New York and Philly, ABC will release the Watch ABC app for other types of mobile devices.

According to Variety, users of other devices will be able to watch live programing starting this week in a browser at ABC.com at the same time the app is released for iOS.

The company’s goal is to make everything it broadcasts available on every device that has a screen.