ABC, CBS expand TV apps to more Android devices

In separate moves, the two broadcasters expand the reach of their apps for watching shows remotely, letting more gadget owners see ABC's live broadcasts and CBS' catch-up programming. Plus: "Star Trek."

CBS' app, now expanded to Android phones, offers catch-up streaming of current shows and episodes of classic programs like "Star Trek." Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Public awareness of "TV Everywhere" may be pathetic, but CBS and Disney's ABC efforts at bringing their shows to on-the-go viewers are creeping out to more devices.

Friday, CBS said its app for on-demand viewing of full episodes is available for Android and Windows 8 users and would be coming to BlackBerry 10 before the end of the year. (Provided Blackberry sticks around that long .)

The app will include more programming, with every episode of CBS' prime-time series eight days after broadcast, as well as classic shows like "MacGyver," "Star Trek," and "Perry Mason." Daytime and late-night programming is available within 24 hours after initial airing. (Disclosure: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

Separately Thursday night, ABC said its Watch ABC live-streaming app is available on Android phones running Ice Cream Sandwich versions of the operating system or higher. Disney rolled out the Watch ABC app on iOS and Kindle Fire devices, as well as some Android tablets, including Samsung Galaxy devices.

The Watch ABC offering is unique among television networks' video apps, going beyond just video on demand to allow viewers to stream its live broadcasts anytime -- provided the viewers are part of participating TV subscription services in eight ABC-owned station markets. They include New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Raleigh-Durham, Houston, and Fresno, Calif.

The company also has agreements with pay-TV providers that give subscribers access to some of its "Watch" family of apps and online video, including Comcast, Verizon Fios, and AT&T U-verse.

TV Everywhere is the television industry's push to make its shows available outside the home. With advertising laced through the mobile viewing, it gives networks incremental streams of revenue and it's a measure to better compete with online TV upstarts like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and -- more recently -- Aereo.

However, public awareness hasn't caught on. A study by Altman Vilandrie last month found that even though all of the major pay-TV providers offer some form of TV Everywhere, only 32 percent of customers said their cable TV subscription included it. It dropped to 24 percent for viewers over 55.

 

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