ABC dipped its toe into live network TV streaming with the Watch ABC app on the web and iOS earlier this month, and now it's followed up with a version for Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets. Unfortunately, despite the Amazon Appstore listing it's still not in Google Play so other Android devices can't get easy access yet. At launch the press release mentioned Samsung Galaxy hardware will also be supported this summer, but there's no word beyond that.
Of course, the same location restrictions still apply no matter what platform, with Watch ABC currently available in NYC and Philadelphia only. Through the end of June anyone in those areas can tune into the live streams, however after that it will require authentication with a participating cable or satellite company. Viewing areas will also start to include into other markets throughout the summer and fall based on ABC's agreements with its affiliates. The Watch strategy has worked well so far for Disney's cable networks (ABC Family is up next), whether its push to bring live network TV to the internet is spurred by Aereo or Nielsen's new ratings, we hope more can watch it soon.
WATCH ABC APP IS NOW LIVE ON KINDLE FIRE AND KINDLE FIRE HD
24/7 Live Stream of ABC Programming Currently Available in
New York City and Philadelphia
Disney/ABC Television Group's revolutionary WATCH ABC app is now available for free on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD and available via Amazon Appstore for Android. The app delivers a live 24/7 stream of the ABC Television Network to authenticated pay TV subscribers, beginning with New York City and Philadelphia, as well as on-demand access to full episodes of ABC's daytime and primetime programming nationwide.
Currently the live stream is available through an open access preview to all users in New York City via WABC-TV and Philadelphia via WPVI through the end of June. Following the end of the open access preview, the WATCH ABC live streams will continue to be available in NYC and Philadelphia to authenticated users only. Disney/ABC Television Group has agreements in place for its authenticated WATCH products with a variety of Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs), including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse.
This Summer live streams of WATCH ABC will roll out in the other six ABC-owned station markets, which include Los Angeles (KABC-TV), Chicago (WLS-TV), San Francisco (KGO-TV), Houston (KTRK-TV), Raleigh-Durham (WTVD-TV) and Fresno (KFSN-TV). Additionally the network has reached an agreement with Hearst Television to launch the WATCH ABC service in their 13 ABC station markets, which include Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Milwaukee, in the coming months. Agreements with other station groups are expected to be announced prior to the launch of the new Fall Season.
The WATCH ABC service launched May 15, 2013 at the ABC upfront on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch), as well as at ABC.com/WATCH. In addition to offering live linear streams, the app also includes the great, on-demand full-episode viewing experience that the ABC Full-Episode Player and ABC Player app have offered, respectively, online and via tablets and phones. The launch follows the successful rollout of three authenticated WATCH Disney services -- WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior -- in June 2012. Downloaded nearly 15 million times since their debut, the three WATCH Disney products provide authenticated users with both access to live, linear network streams, as well as an extensive offering of advantaged window "on demand" episodes. In addition to WATCH ABC and the WATCH Disney services, Disney Media Networks offers WatchESPN, an authenticated 24/7 live stream of six networks, including all of ESPN's sports and studio shows. Plans are also in place to roll out WATCH ABC Family in early 2014.
Over the past several years, the Disney/ABC Television Group has consistently unveiled innovative, award-winning multiplatform services and apps. In addition to the WATCH services, other notable DATG apps include the Disney Junior Appisode app, which offers true interactive viewing, allowing kids ages 2-7 to touch, tap, swipe, tilt, shake and talk their way through various fun-filled activities embedded into episodes of some of their favorite Disney Junior shows; the ABC Player and ABC Family Player apps, which make full ad supported episodes available for viewing; the ABC News app; and the Emmy Award-winning official Oscars app, which provided unique backstage viewing experiences for the 83rd, 84th, and 85th Academy Awards.
The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations, as well as radio and publishing businesses. This includes ABC Entertainment Group, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. Publisher Hyperion and the Company's equity interest in A+E Networks round out the Group's portfolio of media businesses.