FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, DISNEY-ABC TELEVISION GROUP TO MAKE HD CONTENT AVAILABLE ONLINE AT ABC.COM
Beta Version of HD Channel to Launch on ABC.com's Ad-Supported, Full-Episode Broadband Player This Summer
"We 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," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. "By continuing to listen to our audience and enhancing our digital offerings with the best technology available, we further strengthen their relationship to our brands."
Launching as a beta test in early July, the full-episode broadband player's HD channel will feature a limited amount of content in true high-definition 1280 X 720 resolution from such series as "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Ugly Betty." In conjunction with the launch of the new season in September, a more robust HD programming lineup will be offered.
"This is all about innovating and creating 'what's next' to give consumers the best experience as they watch our content, regardless of viewing platform," said Albert Cheng, executive vice president, Digital Media, Disney-ABC Television Group. "With 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."
Additionally, this fall the ABC.com'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.com's broadband player currently offers full-length episodes in high quality, standard definition resolution of over a dozen series, including "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Ugly Betty," "Brothers & Sisters," "Notes from the Underbelly," "Dancing with the Stars" and "According to Jim," free to consumers on ABC's website the day after their broadcast premieres.
In April the full-episode player began offering full-screen viewing as well as a small "mini" 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.
Disney-ABC Television Group is home to all of The Walt Disney Company's worldwide entertainment and news television properties. The Group includes the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel's worldwide portfolio of kids' channels, ABC Family and SOAPnet; as well as television production and syndication divisions ABC Studios, Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney-ABC International Television. Disney-ABC Television Group also manages the Radio Disney Network in addition to the Company's equity interest in Lifetime Entertainment Services and A&E Television Networks.