ABC launches a suite of local news apps for Fire TV

Disney-ABC is going after cord cutters with the launch of a suite of streaming TV apps for the Fire TV, aimed at bringing ABC stations local news to those who dont pay for cable. The company this week launched eight apps that cover all its ABC-owned stations, each delivering local news tothat market, along with weather, community news, an evening video digest with the days top stories, and even a Feel Good section with upbeat, inspiring stories to take the edge off.

The launch includes all the ABC-owned stations, includingWLS-TV/Chicago, WABC-TV/New York, KABC-TV/Los Angeles, WPVI-TV/Philadelphia, KGO-TV/San Francisco, KTRK-TV/Houston, WTVD-TV/Raleigh-Durham,andKFSN-TV/Fresno. In addition, the companybroughtits Freeform (previously ABC Family) app to Fire TV, alongside the new ABC apps.

The move is a notable investment on ABCs part toreach the cord cutting audience, who are often lacking for local news.

Without using a digital antenna to capture free, over-the-air stations, many cord cutters simply forgo watchinglocal content when streaming through appson their connected media players. But the station apps are free, and dont require a subscription to use, notes ABC, which will allow them to attract a wider audience.


Of course, ABCs main app also offers live local news programming, but the new local apps are focused on offering a different typeof experience. Instead of live streams, the apps navigation lets viewers browse through sections like Quick Catch Up, or Latest Update, depending on what sort of news theyre looking for at the time.

But because these curated news stories are not live streamed, some viewers may be frustrated that the content doesnt feel as current as it could be.

The company said the decision to launch theseapps was prompted by the sizable increases Disney-ABC has seen on connected devices in the past year. By launching on Fire TV, its hoping to capture those lost viewers who are no longer tuning into their local news channels.

The new apps are available for download from the Amazon Appstore.

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