ABC used the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention this week to unveil Clearinghouse, a new program that will see the network hammering out deals with authenticated streaming platforms for its local affiliates.
According to Variety, Disney/ABC television group head Ben Sherwood told the crowd during his NAB keynote that Hearst TV's 14 ABC affiliates would be the first up in the pilot program and that ABC had signed template agreements with DirecTV and PlayStation Vue. The PlayStation Vue deal includes business and financial arrangements, but with the DirecTV deal, the affiliates will be responsible for negotiating their own business terms.
The introduction of Clearinghouse comes from ABC's desire to bring along local broadcast affiliates, which have been slower TO jump into streaming content, as viewership continues to shift away from the traditional linear TV model and go over-the-top.
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) attempts at a streaming TV service have reportedly been tabled for now due to difficulties in attempting to negotiate carrier of local broadcast content. PlayStation Vue, which just recently expanded nationwide, rolled out a new set of "Slim" subscription tiers that did away with the live local broadcast access the service's original packages included, although the service did retain next-day on-demand access for those networks.
Dish Network's (NASDAQ: DISH) Sling TV recently introduced a new version of its $20-per-month core service tier that does away with ESPN and Disney and instead includes access to FOX, some of its related networks, and streaming of FOX's local owned-and-operated stations.
Meanwhile, AT&T/DirecTV (NYSE: T) is working on a trio of IP-based streaming TV services for launch later this year. DirecTV Now will be a streaming version of the MVPD's current core offering, DirecTV Mobile will be a lower-priced package aimed at smartphones, and DirecTV Preview a free, ad-supported service with limited viewing options.
- read this Variety article
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