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ABC will offer its shows on AOL Video

ABC will start to have its primetime shows available for viewing on AOL Video. The shows will be available on AOL Video one day after airing. From B&C:

ABC will offer the shows on AOL Video one day after they premiere on TV through an “ABC.com on AOL” player, which will also display identification from the local ABC affiliate station. While AOL offers primetime programming from the other broadcast networks, this partnership is its first to stream ABC’s shows and represents the first time that a network will co-brand its own online-video player with an online portal.

As Michael Gay wrote about yesterday, NBC will go a step further by offering its programs for free downloading (with some DRM limitations). Full press release after the jump.

PRESS RELEASE:

DISNEY-ABC TELEVISION GROUP AND AOL SIGN UNPRECEDENTED DEAL TO BRING
ABC’S PRIMETIME LINE-UP TO AOL VIDEO

SHOWS AVAILABLE ON AOL THROUGH ABC.COM’S EMMY-WINNING FULL EPISODE
BROADBAND PLAYER THE DAY AFTER THEY AIR

AGREEMENT MARKS THE FIRST TIME THAT A FULL FEATURE VERSION OF A
BROADCAST NETWORK’S ONLINE VIDEO PLAYER HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH
AN ONLINE PORTAL

Burbank, CA and Dulles, VA — (September 20, 2007) – Dedicated to
expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and
connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere,
Disney-ABC Television Group and AOL today announced the 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 available today at www.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 major 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.

“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,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and
president, Disney-ABC Television Group. “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.”

“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,”
said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO of AOL. “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.”

New episodes of ABC series offered free to consumers on AOL the day
after their broadcast premieres include: “The Bachelor” (premieres
online Tuesday, September 25); “Big Shots” (premieres online Friday,
September 28); “Brothers & Sisters” (premieres online Monday, October
1); “Carpoolers” (premieres online Wednesday, October 3); “Cavemen”
(premieres online Wednesday, October 3); “Dancing with the Stars”
(premieres online Tuesday, September 25); “Desperate Housewives”
(premieres online Monday, October 1); “Dirty Sexy Money” (premieres
online Thursday, September 27); “Eli Stone” (online premiere TBD);
“Grey’s Anatomy” (premieres online Friday, September 28); “Lost”
(online premiere TBD); “MEN IN TREES” (premieres online Saturday,
October 13); “October Road” (online premiere TBD) “Private Practice”
(premieres online Thursday, September 27); “Pushing Daisies” (premieres
online Thursday, October 4); “Samantha Who?” (premieres online Tuesday,
October 16) and “Ugly Betty” (premieres online Friday, September 28).
Generally, four episodes per series will be available at any given time.

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
affiliate’s 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 140million 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.

“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,”
said Ray Cole, chairman, ABC Television Affiliates Association. “We
look forward to working together with ABC and AOL to break new ground in
the digital distribution arena.”

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.

AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most
popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software
and services, runs one of the country’s largest Internet access
businesses, and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A
majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC is based in
Dulles, Virginia. AOL and its subsidiaries also have operations in
Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.

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