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Disney/ABC to launch to live streaming service

Disney/ ABC Television Group is set to launch a new authenticated streaming service, offering full live online access to ABC shows and local market programming for the first time. 

Watch ABC is due to launch in New York City and Philadelphia this week before rolling out to all ABC-owned station markets by the start of the 2013 fall broadcast season.

As well as live shows, the service will also include on-demand access to content available through the existing ABC Player. Users will be able to view Watch ABC online and via apps for iOS and Kindle Fire. It will launch on Samsung Galaxy devices in the summer.

Disney/ABC Television Group has Watch ABC agreements in place with Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs), including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications and AT&T U-verse.

The network has reached an agreement with Hearst Television to launch the WATCH ABC service in their 13 ABC station markets, which include Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City.

This announcement represents a defining moment in technology and distribution, as well as for our advertising and affiliate partners, as we ensure that our high-quality content is available to viewers on a variety of devices,” claimed Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

The move follows recent legal wrangling between ABC and US internet TV startup Aereo. ABC was one of a number of broadcasters to file lawsuits against the service last year, claiming that by retransmitting television stations over the web without licensing the content from content owners, Aereo was infringing their copyright.