ABC said to be developing live TV streaming mobile app

The U.S. broadcaster could be the first television network to bring live streaming 24/7 to subscribers' tablets and smartphones.

NBC and Adobe created a live streaming mobile app for the Olympics. Adobe

Television network ABC is said to be in the works of creating a mobile app that would live stream its TV programming, according to The New York Times. If ABC does come out with such an app it will be the first U.S. broadcaster to embark on constant live streaming for smartphones and tablets.

ABC, which is owned by Disney, is known for shows like "Good Morning America," "Dancing with the Stars," "General Hospital," and "Grey's Anatomy." The live streaming app would supposedly bring all of these shows to users the same way a television would, but with the main difference being that people could tune in from anywhere. Also, it wouldn't be free -- users would have to subscribe.

While novel, live streaming apps aren't necessarily new. Similar apps have popped up over the last couple of years. In April 2011, ESPN, also owned by Disney, launched WatchESPN , which lets subscribers watch live programming from several of its channels. And, last summer during the Olympics, NBC Sports and Adobe Systems partnered to create two apps for live streaming the games on mobile devices.

Third-party companies have also launched live TV steaming. The upstart TV service Aereo announced in January that it was bringing live streaming to 22 U.S. cities this year. Aereo's antenna/DVR technology allows consumers to watch live, local over-the-air broadcast television on certain Internet-connected devices. However, the startup was quickly sued by the likes of ABC, CBS (the parent of CNET), Fox, NBC Universal, and Telemundo, which alleged in a lawsuit last year that the service violates their copyrights.

It's unclear if ABC will come up against hurdles from broadcasters and local TV stations. According to The New York Times, ABC has started talks with local stations about how they can be involved in the live streaming app. The newspaper reports that the app could be available as soon as this year.

CNET contacted ABC for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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