ABC Rebrands iOS and Apple TV Apps With 'Throwback' Shows and New Interface

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ABC today announced a rebranding of its Watch ABC app for iOS and Apple TV devices, now simply called "ABC," aimed at offering a wider breath of content as well as new, exclusive digital series for users who download the app. The interface has also been redesigned and the app is exclusive to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (via Entertainment Weekly).

abc new iOS app
One of the more interesting aspects of the new ABC app is that the network has added 38 full seasons of "throwback" shows, meaning that anyone can download the app and watch entire seasons of now-cancelled ABC series, without having to sign into a paid TV service account. Some of these old shows include Ugly Betty, Schoolhouse Rock, Ellen, My So-Called Life, and Dinosaurs.

“Our team has completely re-imagined the digital viewing experience for ABC fans,” said Karin Gilford, ABC’s senior vice president of digital media, in a statement. “In addition to the current ABC shows that fans know and love, we are introducing new ABCd original digital series that are fun, fresh and perfect for mobile, and we are making full seasons of all-time favorite shows available for binging.”

Otherwise, ABC will function much in the same fashion as its predecessor, allowing those who can provide proof of a TV subscription access to brand-new episodes of the latest TV from the network, like Scandal and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the addition of new digital short-form video series. Users will also be able to stream live TV from within the app.


ABC is available to download from the iOS App Store for free. [Direct Link].

Tag: ABC

Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago
Why does ABC require a subscription to a TV service to watch new content? ABC content is *FREE OVER THE AIR*. You just need an antenna. Why do they want us to give companies like Comcast (who is a competitor even!) money to watch them?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago
Why do studios insist on loading old shows, (that are available elsewhere ad free), with Ads???
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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56 months ago

Way to stick a pin in the balloon. They added all these classic shows, some of them great, many worth watching. And if you are already a cable subscriber, there's no extra charge. Otherwise you would have to subscribe to Hulu or Netflix to get older shows (if these are even available via those services).

These older shows are NOT available over the air, and ABC is using these to justify the small fee they get from your provider.

Honestly, if you want FREE over-the-air broadcast, just get rabbit ears, and use them as intended. Or sit on them; I don't care. Or be a whiner, if that's how you want to be.

You are conflating two things.

Yes, ABC is giving non-cable-subscribers and cable subscribers alike access to the same back catalogue already on Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix (definitely with subscriptions, probably free-with-commercials on Hulu without subscription for most of these shows if not all of them). Fabulous.

However, ABC is giving current season (or rather, any season access for non-canceled shows) show access only to people who also happen to get their content from a cable company. This justifiably rankles those who get live ABC over the air (as ABC is required by law to provide).

As for why, the reason is simple. ABC gets carriage fees from cable companies, so they make more money off cable subscribers and would love to keep that cash cow mooing.

The real question, though, is why ABC won't allow non-cable-subscribers to directly pay ABC the equivalent of a per-subscriber carriage fee (less than a dollar per month per subscriber) in order to sign in.

As alternatives, non-cable subscription networks like Sling TV and Playstation Vue allow ABC access on their $20/month plans (along with many other channels of course), so that might be an option if you just have to have ABC shows on your AppleTV. Or, you may find that just buying seasons of the shows you actually care about a la carte is a much better and more affordable option (especially if bought using iTunes Gift Cards that often show up on sale for 10-15% off and periodically from 20-25% off).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

Why does ABC require a subscription to a TV service to watch new content? ABC content is *FREE OVER THE AIR*. You just need an antenna. Why do they want us to give companies like Comcast (who is a competitor even!) money to watch them?

Because ABC does not own all the towers that broadcast OTA content. Your local affiliate station holds the rights to broadcast that content. Your local pay tv provider (cable/satellite)negotiates retransmission fee with Them. As such ABC cannot then broadcast to you directly as it would be breaching contracts. The local affiliate cannot retransmit to you directly by Internet because they would be breaching contracts with pay tv providers.

So the best way is to authenticate via your pay tv provider as they already have the retransmission rights in place.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago
Is there any AppleTV video content besides the iTunes stuff available outside USA?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 months ago

Way to stick a pin in the balloon. They added all these classic shows, some of them great, many worth watching. And if you are already a cable subscriber, there's no extra charge. Otherwise you would have to subscribe to Hulu or Netflix to get older shows (if these are even available via those services).

These older shows are NOT available over the air, and ABC is using these to justify the small fee they get from your provider.

Honestly, if you want FREE over-the-air broadcast, just get rabbit ears, and use them as intended. Or sit on them; I don't care. Or be a whiner, if that's how you want to be.

That's just it, though. ABC doesn't even provide a way for us to pay them directly. They want us to subscribe to comcast or DirecTV to watch stuff that you don't even need Comcast or DirecTV to watch live.

It doesn't make sense.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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