ABC has announced that it plans to start live streaming its content to iOS users in New York and Philadelphia a 24-hour live stream of its programming this week. This is significant because this is the first time that a broadcast company has embraced complete live streaming of all of its content in real time.
This is a move to counter Aereo, a service which offers broadcast channels to be recorded and streamed over The Cloud for a fee. ABC does not plan to charge a fee however, instead they will open the service up to any authenticated cable subscribers. This will prove to be much cheaper than Aereo since people that pay for cable will now have to pay any extra fees in order to make use of this service.
When it comes time for streaming commercial breaks, ABC plans to swap out its traditional commercials with ads optimized for iOS devices. Things get interesting when these ads will supposedly target specific interests of the user based on their likes and interests.
Not everything is 1:1 though when streamed through the iOS device. Some shows must be replaced with alternative content since ABC simply does not have the rights to stream each and every show online.
This is the first attempt to counter the very scary Aereo service that casts a shadow over the television industry. I look forward to seeing this battle progress in the future.