Starting this week, ABC will live-stream shows via its Watch ABC app for iOS. This comes less than two months after The New York Times reported that the broadcast network was crafting up such a service, and ABC's live TV on the go is indeed a first for the television industry. The new functionality comes via a "live" button in the mobile app, and it will initially be limited to paid cable and satellite subscribers in the New York and Philadelphia areas. With Hearst Television on board as ABC's first live-stream affiliate, the network says it will expand the service to six more cities by this summer.
While it could still be quite some time before this offering hits your zip code (or OS of choice), it provides plenty of incentive for other networks to catch up -- and quickly. CBS and Fox currently offer episode streaming through their mobile apps, but live TV is a huge differentiator. Notably, Aereo announced the expansion of its own live-streaming service today, but that company is already embroiled in lawsuits with several networks over alleged copyright violations.