Streaming service NewsOn loses Disney-owned local news broadcasts

A message on KGO-TV’s stream within the NewsOn app says live broadcasts are no longer available. (Image: The Desk)

Disney has pulled local news broadcasts from around a dozen ABC-owned stations from the streaming news app NewsOn as the company forges ahead with its own streaming news offerings.

NewsOn was formed in 2015 through a consortium of five local news broadcasters, including Disney’s ABC-Owned Television Stations (ABCOTS). The service offers live and on-demand replays of local television news broadcasts from around 100 markets.

On January 1, ABCOTS pulled its eight stations from the service, suggesting Disney was no longer interested in participating in the consortium. The stations affected are WABC-TV (Channel 7) in New York, KABC-TV (Channel 7) in Los Angeles, WLS-TV (Channel 7) in Chicago, WPVI-TV (Channel 6) in Philadelphia, KGO-TV (Channel 7) in San Francisco, KTRK (Channel 13) in Houston, KFSN (Channel 30) in Fresno and WTVD (Channel 11) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A message posted by NewsOn on affected streams said Disney was responsible for removing the feeds.

“Unfortunately, the station owner has removed (this station) from NewsOn,” the message said. “We apologize for the inconvenience. We are working to bring you more local news from another local station in this area.”

This is not the first time NewsOn has lost channels: In 2016, Nexstar Media inked a deal that made dozens of local newscasts from its broadcast stations available on the app, though Nexstar channels were pulled a few years later. But Disney’s withdrawal from the service is the first time a major launch partner has decided to pull its channels from the app.

Those who want to tune in to local news broadcasts from the affected ABC stations will have to purchase an antenna; subscribe to cable, satellite or an over-the-top Internet streaming service like YouTube TV or Sling; or watch newscasts directly on the station’s website. Out-of-market viewers who want to watch broadcasts from affected ABC stations will have to watch directly on the station’s website.

Stations from NewsOn’s other launch partners — Hearst Television, Cox Media Group, Media General and Raycom Media — continue to be available, as well as select stations from non-investment partners E.W. Scripps and TEGNA.

NewsOn is available as a free, commercial-supported app for Apple’s iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, Apple TV) and on Roku, Android and Amazon Fire TV.