The world has now changed. TV broadcasters are now full-time streaming.
WABC New York and WPVI Philadelphia have just begun full time 24/7 streaming of their programming on the web. All you need to do is download the ‘Watch ABC’ app. from the iTunes App store or via abc.go.com. The PC version doesn’t require an app. at all. Just drill down to the LIVE tab. You can make it full screen by touching the arrows icon in the lower right. It also features captioning, if you want it. You’ll also notice many commercials will not make it to the stream. They are replaced with ABC promos. Advertisers have to pay for the increased reach of the web stream!
This is a free trial until the end of June. After that time, you’ll need to be a subscriber to cable or satellite to see the service. In the end, ABC has control and they will make you pay! It is also keyed to geographical location. I don’t think you can see this trial outside the New York and Philadelphia demos.
I believe this is a direct reaction to the service Aereo. Aereo is a independent subscription service that offers all New York City’s over-the-air TV channels via the web by (in theory) renting you a receiver and antenna to access. Aereo has succeeded to continue to operate after winning multiple legal battles in the courts. The networks’ complaint: Aereo is not paying for any of the programming they provide. They are just passing it on, you see.
Aereo maddened broadcasters. CBS, Fox and Univision are threatening to turn off their transmitters if Aereo continues to (in their eyes) rip them off. In the meantime, the major networks are readying streaming services like the one ABC has just launched. It’s all about control and money. What a great excuse for them to end expensive over-the-air broadcasting and reduce their operating costs!
In my opinion, Aereo does two good things. It widens the audiences of the stations it provides. It offers all the stations in one place allowing you to change channels easily. Aereo also allows subscribers to record programming for later playback.
A new world has begun. The stream has started to flow. It is very interesting to watch! Stay tuned!