Disney-ABC announces initiative to get affiliates onto digital bandwagon

Can a network really achieve “TV Everywhere” status if its affiliates aren’t dipping their toes in the digital waters? Maybe not, and that’s why Disney-ABC Television Group is launching Clearinghouse, a new initiative designed to heft its affiliates onto the digital bandwagon. Announced at NAB by Disney-ABC honcho Ben Sherwood, Clearinghouse will offer station partners “turnkey opportunities,” allowing them to opt in to digital distribution agreements pre-negotiated by ABC. ABC is trying to nudge its affiliates toward the live-streaming of linear feeds and, eventually, on-demand streaming of current series. Sherwood says 14 ABC affiliates in Hearst’s TV station group will lead the initiative’s pilot program, hopping on board a technological and administrative template that ABC negotiated with DirecTV for the Watch ABC app. Sherwood says that ABC has also created a template agreement with PlayStation Vue.

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