ABC relaunches unauthenticated streaming service with 7 new original shorts

ABC is taking another stab at original, short-form online and mobile video, relaunching its unauthenticated streaming platform with seven original series.

The platform, accessible via ABC.com and various network mobile apps, also includes 38 older long-form shows from the linear channel, including Betrayal, Brothers & Sisters, Felicity, My So-Called Life, School House Rock, Sports Night and Ugly Betty.

A redesigned user interface, meanwhile, is compatible with iOS devices and Apple TV.

The 5- to 7-minute shorts are offshoots of existing linear productions, and have the associated production-quality and talent level. Available today, for example, Boondoggle is produced by the same team that makes ABC's Modern Family and includes series star Ty Burrell playing a meta version of his celebrity self (think Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm.)

In addition to ABC Comedy Development, shorts are also being produced by ABC Daytime and ABC Digital Media.

ABC said the platform will be ad-supported.

The announcement comes one day after Fox revealed that it is streaming its prime-time lineup, albeit only to viewers who can authenticate a pay-TV subscription. 

NBCUniversal is also using its existing production infrastructure to produce short-form video aimed at mobile users. However, Seeso is based on a $3.99-a-month subscription video on demand model.

CBS, meanwhile, is producing original series — notably a long-form reboot of Star Trek — for its SVOD site, CBS All Access.

All of this unauthenticated activity is coming as broadcast retransmission fees are projected to grow to $10.6 billion by 2020, according to SNL Kagan. 

For more:
- read this Variety story
- read this Re/code story

Related articles:
Fox starts delivering authenticated live streams in all 210 of its markets
SNL Kagan revises projected 2020 retrans figure again, moves it up to $10.6B

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