The ABC affiliates board and its network reps are moving
ahead on discussions related to what the parties are calling "geo-targeted
streaming"-the live streaming of local and network content under the Watch ABC
Dave Boylan, chairman of the affiliates board, said the
discussions are very early, but have thus far been encouraging. "There are a
lot of points that have to be worked out between the network and the
affiliates," he said. "It's really just a first conversation."
The board met April 9 in Las Vegas. One special guest was Anne
Sweeney, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, speaking on primetime and
other network matters. The affiliates reps got a glimpse at some shows in
development, both comedies and dramas, that are being considered for a spot in
the upfront presentation next month. The affiliates board has for years told
the network it needs to improve in the last hour of prime, and Boylan said
the board is "thrilled" with the success of Scandal
at 10 p.m. He added that the caliber of showrunner talent involved in the new
pilots is encouraging.
The affiliates were also celebrating the year anniversary of
GMA taking over the top slot in the
morning TV battle, and were encouraged by Jimmy Kimmel's start in an earlier
slot, and how he was poised to succeed against Jimmy Fallon when NBC swaps out
its Tonight Show host next year. "ABC
now has a strong new late fringe comedy," said Boylan, VP and general manager
at WPLG Miami. "The affiliates said, that's a smart move."
As he did at the CBS affiliates meeting, Steve Lanzano,
president and CEO at the trade association TVB, spoke about live plus same day
ratings, and Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO, addressed the affiliate
leaders as well.
Boylan said Sweeney's appearance in Las Vegas
sent the right message that ABC is intent on winning prime. "I know we've got
work to do," he said, "but I know the people they've got are a positive. And it
was great to talk to Anne directly about it."