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ABC to offer live local video streams on iOS apps

The Desk: Matthew Keys
The Desk: Matthew Keys

ABC will begin rolling out a live stream of its network signal to iPhone and iPad users in New York City and Philadelphia later this week according to a New York Times report.

The new feature will debut at ABC’s “upfront” presentation on Tuesday, Brian Stelter with the Times wrote. The feature will allow Apple mobile device users to access live streaming video from one of two ABC owned stations — WABC in New York or WCAU in Philadelphia — provided the user is a cable or satellite subscriber.

ABC will work to roll out live streams in six other local markets where it owns television stations, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. Those streams should be available this summer. ABC also wants to make arrangements with Gannett, Scripps, Belo and other companies to bring local streams to other television markets where it does not own ABC affiliated stations.

The app comes as ABC fights streaming television provider Aereo in court over the online retransmission of its signal in New York City. Aereo currently provides live streams of over-the-air channels, including Disney-owned WABC, to customers who pay to lease a micro antenna from the company. Aereo does not compensate companies like ABC for retransmission rights.

It is unclear if ABC will offer its live streaming service to viewers who are not cable or satellite customers.

ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Company.

New York Times: ABC to live stream programming on iPhone, iPad
The Verge: ABC wants to bring live streams to 200 local TV markets

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).