Just days after CBS finally announced its new app offering full length episodes of popular CBS shows, The New York Times revealed that ABC, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, is hard at work on a live video streaming app.
The as of yet unnamed app will live stream ABC programming to the phones and tablets of cable and satellite subscribers, allowing them to watch popular ABC television shows anywhere. For example, if you have a cable subscription, you could potentially watch “Good Morning America” in Starbucks while sipping on a latte.
ABC currently has an app that offers up full length television shows for free, but it is riddled with commercials and the available shows are limited. A streaming app, based on a cable subscription, would be able to offer ABC’s full catalogue of content to subscribers.
Time Warner operates a live television streaming app at this time, but it can only be used on your home Wi-Fi network, limiting users to in-house usage. ABC’s app would likely be similar to Time Warner’s, streaming live TV, but it will work on anywhere.
The app will make ABC the first of the American broadcasters to offer up a live Internet stream of national and local programming to those who pay for cable or satellite.
The subscriber-only arrangement, sometimes called TV Everywhere in industry circles, preserves the cable business model that is crucial to the bottom lines of broadcasters, while giving subscribers more of what they seem to want — mobile access to TV shows. The arrangement could extend the reach of ads that appear on ABC as well.
ABC has declined to comment on the new app, but people familiar with the project have said that it is inching closer to fruition. According to the NYT, ABC is further along on the Internet streaming project than any other network, with other network executives regarding the project “with a mixture of awe and fear.”
ABC has long been a pioneer when it comes to developing for iOS devices. The network was the first to offer streaming to iPad customers, releasing its ABC Player app on the same day the iPad was released in 2010.