Television network ABC is reportedly working on tablet and smartphone apps that will let viewers watch its programming live while on the go — assuming they already have a cable or satellite subscription. The New York Times reports that the apps are similar to the WatchESPN and Watch Disney apps launched last year by ABC's parent company Disney. Like apps, the ABC project would be part of the TV Everywhere initiative — only allowing the live streaming for those who can prove they subscribe to a cable or satellite provider and already pay for the programming.
The TV Everywhere initiative is a sort of middle-ground for television networks. It addresses customer needs — watching programing when they want, how they want — but attempts to sidestep any true disruption by tying that ability to the traditional access model already in place. According to the Times, ABC has begun reaching out to its local stations — particularly those that may threatened by the prospect — about how to incorporate some of their programming into the app as well.
The app would be coming along while Disney tries to decide what it wants to do with its other streaming initiative: Hulu. Disney has reportedly been in discussions with its partner News Corp. about how to move forward with the service; News Corp. would like to move forward with a subscription-only model, while Disney prefers going with an ad-based version.