Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney-ABC Television Group announced today that it will begin to stream content in true high definition resolution this summer on its Emmy Award-winning ABC.com broadband video.
â€œWe are excited to be the first in the industry to stream HD video available on the web, providing ABC.com users with an unprecedented online viewing experience,â€ said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. â€œBy continuing to listen to our audience and enhancing our digital offerings with the best technology available, we further strengthen their relationship to our brands.â€
Launching as a beta test in early July, the full-episode broadband playerâ€™s HD channel will feature a limited amount of content in true high-definition 1280 X 720 resolution from such series as â€œLost,â€ â€œDesperate Housewives,â€ â€œGreyâ€™s Anatomyâ€ and â€œUgly Betty.â€ In conjunction with the launch of the new season in September, a more robust HD programming lineup will be offered.
â€œThis is all about innovating and creating â€˜whatâ€™s nextâ€™ to give consumers the best experience as they watch our content, regardless of viewing platform,â€ said Albert Cheng, executive vice president, Digital Media, Disney-ABC Television Group. â€œWith the advancements in display devices and the prevalence of hardware with the processing capabilities to handle this technology, offering true HD content online is a natural.â€
Additionally, this fall the ABC.comâ€™s full episode player will be expanded further to included national news and local content, in addition to primetime entertainment programming. This new player will be geo-targeted, offering the ability for local ads and content to be more relevant to each individual user.
ABC.comâ€™s broadband player currently offers full-length episodes in high quality, standard definition resolution of over a dozen series, including â€œDesperate Housewives,â€ â€œGreyâ€™s Anatomy,â€ â€œLost,â€ â€œUgly Betty,â€ â€œBrothers & Sisters,â€ â€œNotes from the Underbelly,â€ â€œDancing with the Starsâ€ and â€œAccording to Jim,â€ free to consumers on ABCâ€™s website the day after their broadcast premieres.
In April the full-episode player began offering full-screen viewing as well as a small â€œminiâ€ screen that users can position wherever they choose on their desktops, in addition to the two original standard viewing size viewing options. To date, ABC affiliates covering 80% of the country — including all major affiliate groups and the ten ABC owned stations — have launched or have committed to launching the player on their own websites and are taking advantage of the opportunity to incorporate local advertising into the programming.