Disney is crowing today about its progress in persuading ABC’s broadcast affiliates to let the entertainment giant negotiate deals with digital distribution services on their behalf.
In conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual confab taking place in Las Vegas, Disney|ABC Television Group says it signed more than 160 stations including those owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, E.W. Scripps Company, Hearst Television and Tegna Media.
The Clearinghouse initiative enables affiliates to, as the company puts it, “opt into pre-negotiated agreements for digital distribution of their live, linear feeds, as well as potential opportunities for local VOD distribution.”
Most of them now allow services including DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV to offer their local broadcasts within their markets much as they do with cable and satellite companies.
Disney says that about 90% of all TV households either can or soon will be able to stream live ABC broadcasts via traditional cable and satellite TV Everywhere offerings or non-traditional platforms.
Ben Sherwood, Disney Media Networks Co-Chair and Disney|ABC Television Group President, said he’s “committed to digital distribution solutions that benefit the local/national relationship and the value it brings to consumers.”
Graham Media Group CEO Emily Barr, who’s also chair of the ABC Affiliate Board, said local stations “are deeply embedded in their communities, and viewers rely on them for news, information and entertainment now more than ever — anywhere on any device from TVs and desktops to tablets and mobile phones.“
ABC programming is available on ABC.com and its app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, App Store, Amazon Appstore, Google Play and participating pay TV provider access points.
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