The New York Times reports today that an anonymous executive within the television network ABC has discussed plans to launch mobile applications that will have the ability to stream programming to the tablets and smartphones of cable and satellite subscribers.
The move would make ABC the first of the big three American television networks to broadcast streaming national and local feeds to it’s subscribers. Allowing customers the ability to stream local and national programming to their mobile devices can have a considerable effect on how individuals consume their television content. Imagine having the ability to watch local or national news on your mobile device while on public transportation or waiting in line at the grocery store.
The idea of streaming programming to mobile devices via mobile applications seems like a no brainer. In fact, the general widespread reaction to this news has been, “I can’t believe this isn’t already being offered.” Like many barriers in the cable industry, the problem lies in previous, lucrative contracts between networks and program producers. However, everyone involved recognizes the importance of resolving these disputes at a time when consumer demand swings heavily toward mobile streaming.
ABC has been at the forefront of the digital revolution compared to others of their kind; allowing free streaming episodes of popular television shows on their website and bringing many programs to Apple’s iTunes store. With streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime currently available, figuring out how to implement a mobile app strategy into the cable business can help networks take back lost subscriptions and regain their firm hold on consumer television consumption.
Read more about how new mobile strategies are affecting other market segments.