Virtual MVPD subscribers can expect more local ABC channels soon, as ABC and Nexstar have expanded their affiliate agreement to include distribution on DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and other platforms.
Nexstar said it reached an OTT master agreement with ABC that covers services from DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, CenturyLink and ABC’s TV Everywhere. The deal for Nexstar covers 24 of its owned or operated stations and comes as part of a broadcast affiliate agreement extension through 2022.
Separately, ABC Television Network extended the affiliation agreements for six stations owned by Mission Broadcasting, one station owned by Shield Media and two stations owned by Vaughn Media. All nine of those stations also entered into an OTT master agreement with ABC.
“The combination of Nexstar’s unique, locally produced news programming and content married with ABC’s marquee national content and access to these new and emerging digital distribution platforms is an unbeatable value proposition,” said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook in a statement. “Our new agreement with ABC supports our goals for delivering great entertainment and information to viewers and an effective multiplatform marketing solution for local and national brands and advertisers while creating a new revenue stream for Nexstar related to the OTT master agreement.”
Today’s announcement confirms comments Sook made last month about upcoming streaming deals with the networks.
Sook said that Nexstar Media had not signed anything yet but assured that his company is “very, very close” to streaming deals with a couple of networks. He added that the discussions have been “constructive.”
Sook wouldn’t offer specifics about the networks with which Nexstar Media is closest to a streaming deal, but he did say that any of those deals wouldn’t be likely to have huge financial impacts in the near term.
Interestingly, Hulu’s recently launched live TV service was not included in the OTT agreement.
The big broadcast networks have recently made moves to help expand the availability of local network affiliates across the growing crop of virtual MVPDs.
ABC introduced Clearinghouse, a program intended to allow ABC to negotiate streaming deals for its affiliates. CBS reached an opt-in agreement for streaming services with the CBS Affiliates Board. NBC and the NBC Television Affiliates Board have a new deal that will allow local TV broadcasters to opt in to NBCUniversal’s carriage agreements with new OTT streaming services and for TVE distribution rights.