US broadcaster ABC is planning to woo over subscribers to controversial TV service Aereo by streaming its linear programming over the Internet to iOS devices this week, starting with New York City and Philadelphia.
A new ‘live’ button will appear tomorrow (May 14th) on the WATCH ABC app for iPad and iPhone owners, although access will be limited to viewers in the two roll-out cities to begin with. Live streaming will also be available for Kindle Fire owners, and will eventually become available to other devices.
While the feature will initially be free, owner Disney plans to limit the WATCH ABC service to authenticated pay-TV subscribers from July 1st. The live streaming service will then be rolled out in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, California.
ABC remains locked in a legal dispute with NYC-based Aereo, which streams free-to-air programming over the Internet for a small monthly fee. Aereo recently won another round in its ongoing legal battles with the nation’s broadcasters, who allege that the service is breaching copyright, and plans to launch in Boston this week.