TEGNA to debut streaming apps for local news

(Logo: TEGNA/Handout; Graphic: The Desk)

Television broadcaster TEGNA is rolling out a new streaming news initiative that will see dozens of its broadcast stations launching individual applications over the next few weeks.

The initiative will see TEGNA’s stations in Indianapolis (WTHR, Channel 13) and Atlanta (WXIA, Channel 11) launching “Plus”-branded streaming news apps that will offer live and on-demand access to newscasts produced by each station.

TEGNA says its other stations will roll out streaming applications of their own over the next few months, with the apps available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices at launch and other devices later in the year.

“Building on the success of its first-generation apps launched in 2021, TEGNA stations’ newly redesigned apps are a one-stop destination for local stories that matter,” a TEGNA spokesperson wrote in a press release. “Each new streaming app will feature a local twenty-four-hour ‘Watch’ stream, which will include live local news, newscast replays, extended live coverage, weather, and station specials and investigations.”

TEGNA says the live streams will also offer access to extended sports programming as well as the company’s nationally-syndicated pop culture show “Daily Blast Live.”

“With more than 100 million minutes of streaming per month on our first-generation apps, it is clear that our viewers crave live and on-demand local content,” Adam Ostrow, the company’s chief digital executive, said in a statement.

TEGNA currently offers live and on-demand newscasts through Fox Corporation’s Tubi TV as well as the independent streaming news app NewsOn. It was not clear from Tuesday’s press release how the “Plus” applications rolling out by individual stations will be different from the ones already offered on those free, ad-supported services.

TEGNA, which is in the process of being acquired by a private equity firm, did not say whether it would offer the “Plus” streaming apps for free or if they would require a subscription, though the broadcaster did say its in-house advertising platform would handle inventory for the new initiative, suggesting the services will be offered without cost to viewers.

TEGNA operates nearly five dozen local television stations in more than 50 broadcast markets. In California, TEGNA owns ABC affiliate KXTV (Channel 10) in Sacramento and CBS affiliate KFMB (Channel 8) in San Diego.

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