Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands and content across multiple platforms and devices, Disney/ABC Television Group announced today that the new WATCH ABC Family authenticated service will launch on Monday, January 6, 2014. Similar to DATG’s WATCH ABC and suite of WATCH DISNEY services, the new WATCH ABC Family offering will allow viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on demand access to such popular series as ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ ‘Switched at Birth,’ ‘The Fosters,’ ‘Baby Daddy’ and ‘Melissa & Joey’ at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices.
At launch, the WATCH ABC Family app will be available on iOS and Kindle Fire devices, as well as select Android tablets, including Samsung Galaxy devices. Select Android phones, as well as Blackberry and Windows 8 devices, will be able to access the WATCH ABC Family service later this month. Viewers can also access WATCH ABC Family online at WATCHABCFamily.com.
Also, in support of DATG’s growing authenticated WATCH initiative, the availability of free streaming episodes from ABC and ABC Family will change beginning January 6th. To watch the most current episodes of ABC and ABC Family shows the day after they air, viewers will log in to the WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family apps, WATCHABC.com, WATCHABCFamily.com and hulu.com with their subscription TV account usernames and passwords.
Following an advantaged viewing window for subscription TV customers, on demand episodes will be unlocked for all WATCH ABC users eight days after their initial broadcast. On demand episodes of ABC Family series will only be available to verified customers of participating subscription TV providers.
Currently Disney/ABC Television Group has agreements in place for its authenticated WATCH products with a variety of Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs), including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse. Customers of the majority of these providers will be able to authenticate both WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family starting January 6.
‘We are excited to continue to expand the breadth of our authenticated services with the launch of WATCH ABC Family,’ said Albert Cheng, executive vice president and chief product offficer, Digital Media, Disney/ABC Television Group. ‘Our portfolio of WATCH offerings, which have quickly become the industry standard for authenticated services, were designed in collaboration with our distribution partners to ensure that these products would add value for them and strengthen the MVPD ecosystem while still meeting the ever-evolving needs of our audience.’
The launch of WATCH ABC Family follows the successful rollout of WATCH ABC earlier this year and the three authenticated WATCH Disney services — WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior — in June 2012.
The WATCH ABC app offers on demand episode viewing to verified users of participating pay TV providers across the country, and is the first and only linear broadcasting service to provide authenticated viewers with live access to their favorite ABC shows and local market programming at home and on the go. Live streaming is currently available in ABC’s eight Owned Station markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. Plans are in place for the WATCH ABC service to roll out to Hearst Television-owned ABC markets in the coming months.