Disney-ABC TV Group and AOL ink deal

MUMBAI: Disney-ABC Television Group and AOL have inked a deal to make availability of full-length episodes of popular primetime shows on AOL Video.


 


Delivered via a co-branded version of ABC.com’s Emmy-winning broadband player, full episodes of ABC programs are now available on http://video.aol.com and beginning next week will feature ABC’s new fall lineup of programming.


 


The agreement marks the first time ABC’s primetime programming has been made available on a major portal and is also the first time a portal has offered a full feature version of a broadcast network’s online video player.


 


Additionally, the two companies will team to offer select short form programming from ABC via an embedded short-form player, which will debut on AOL later this year. The short-form programming featured on the embedded player will include both original and derivative content from ABC.


 


Disney Media Networks and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, Co-chair, Anne Sweeney stated, “We’re excited to partner with AOL on this groundbreaking agreement which not only expands the reach of our quality programming, but ensures the finest online viewing experience available through our own broadband player. As we experiment with new ways to grow our digital business, we remain focused on finding smart, new methods to connect viewers to the content they want and brands they love on the platforms they choose. This deal not only provides additional viewing opportunities for our consumers, but also gives our affiliates and advertisers another way to reach our audience and associate with our powerful network brands.”


 


AOL, CEO and Chairman, Randy Falco said, “We’re excited to be working with ABC to make their Emmy-winning programming available on AOL in time for the start of the fall season. AOL is committed to connecting consumers with the widest selection of high quality video on the web and with the addition of ABC, AOL Video is the only destination with agreements to offer free streaming primetime programming from all four major television networks.”


 


Combining sleek, modern design and user-friendly functionality with geo-targeting ability, the ABC.com broadband player on AOL will be co-branded with an “ABC.com on AOL” message alongside the local ABC affiliates station ID based on the individual user’s geographic location. Individual episodes viewed online will feature up to three interactive advertisements from one national sponsor, as well as an additional local ad insertion. ABC will continue to sell national advertising for the broadband player and local affiliates will continue to be responsible for local ad sales.


 


Since the broadband player launched on ABC.com in September 2006, over 140 million episodes of ABC primetime series have been initiated by users, and to date, ABC affiliates covering 80% of the country have launched or are committed to launch the players on their own websites.


 

ABC Television Affiliates Association, Chairman, Ray Cole added, “Based on the success ABC affiliates have had online in the past year since launching the broadband video player on their own sites, we believe this initiative with AOL offers tremendous potential for increased exposure and promotional opportunities for local stations. We look forward to working together with ABC and AOL to break new ground in the digital distribution arena.”

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