Disney-ABC Touts OTT Pacts With More than 160 Affiliates

by Paige Albiniak  |  04.24.2017

​On the anniversary of announcing this initiative, Disney-ABC Television on Monday said it has cleared more than 160 affiliated stations to launch over-the-top services through the company’s clearinghouse initiative, which was announced last year on NAB’s opening day.

That brings the company’s streaming deals to more than 90 percent of U.S. Television households, with station groups such as Sinclair, Scripps, Hearst, Tegna and others included.

Stations that join the clearinghouse can have their live signal streamed via various over-the-top services, including DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV and Century Link. ABC owned stations and affiliates also are available to be streamed on the ABC app as well as via various cable-authentication services.

Live TV streaming services are hitting the market, with Sling TV and DirecTV Now already on line, YouTube TV available in five top markets and Hulu’s offering expected to launch in the next few months. Earlier this month, NBC announced a deal that allows its affiliates to opt in to these services. CBS affiliates currently participate in CBS All Access. They also are a part of YouTube TV—as are NBC, ABC and Fox—and Hulu’s upcoming service.

“We are committed to digital distribution solutions that benefit the local/national relationship and the value it brings to consumers, so this is a real win for us, our affiliates and our video partners,” said Disney-ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood in a statement.

TV stations have been pushing their networks for the right to have their signal streamed as TV moves away from a linear business and into a digital, on-demand one.

“Together, we have worked diligently to help craft a creative solution that delivers the unparalleled strength of ABC affiliates across the country directly to viewers watching their local stations on these digital platforms,“ added ABC Affiliate Board of Governors chairman Emily Barr, president and CEO, Graham Media Group, also in a statement.

ABC also is working on technology that will make it easier for affiliates to deliver their signals to various digital platforms, reports Variety. This technology would allow stations to deliver their signals to several platforms at once.

READ MORE: Variety

[Image of Ben Sherwood courtesy of Variety]

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