ABC launches ‘Unlocked’ streaming channels in major markets, revamped website

ABC announced what it calls “unlocked” to stream broadcasters, including localized broadcasters in the main markets where it owns a broadcaster.

The network website, ABC.com, has also been modified to better emphasize these offers.

The new 24-hour streams will be available for free without any signup, the network announced on June 30, 2022.

There are also no geolocation requirements; in fact, ABC’s announcement emphasizes that viewers can experience news from around the country. The feeds are also available to people living outside of the eight markets in which the network owns stations.

In markets where the local ABC affiliate is not owned by the network, the availability of local content streaming varies.

The local streams are filled with local news simulcasts when available, with other content such as documentaries or similar programs filling the time in between.

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While ABC-owned stations have been offering streaming content for some time now, this rollout appears to be helping users access the offerings and drive home to where they were unlocked.

The word “unlocked” now features prominently in the headlines on the redesigned ABC.com website and mobile and connected TV apps, which now put a lot of emphasis on streaming.

An updated interface includes “unlocked” labels over content thumbnails to direct viewers to what’s available without logging in, including their own stations’ feeds.

While “unlocked TV” can be a generic term for channels that are available for free without a login, such as TV Everywhere, it seems that ABC is trying to use the term as a brand element by developing a logo for it.

That look is a condensed sans serif with red outer glow. The far left and right are slightly distorted by vertical flashes of light, which can be read as layers of logins being peeled away. In addition to the color version, there is also a single-colour version of the design.

Notably, thumbnails for each local stream have all switched over the new ABC globe and, where applicable, the flatter Circle 7 logo, even in markets where the station hasn’t completely switched over, such as WLS in Chicago.

The typography is also set in Proxima, that NewscastStudio reported earlier is scheduled to become a default font option on proprietary stations once a planned graphics mandate is fully rolled out.

ABC offers local streaming channels in the eight markets where it owns a station: New York (WABC), Los Angeles (KABC), Chicago (WLS), Philadelphia (WPVI), Bay Area (KGO), North Carolina (WTVD), Houston (KTRK) and Central California (KFSN).

Also featured are two new channels from the National Geographic network, which is owned by ABC parent Disney, “Pets & Vets” and “Investigates,” featuring a lineup of linear-style content centered around animals and real life, respectively. crime content. Curated collections, such as “20 20/20s”, are also available.

There is also a close integration with ABC News LivehuluDisney+ and ESPN+ on ABC.com, with the homepage essentially becoming a hub of content available for free without login, free with login, or under a paid subscription model.

The design approach should be familiar to anyone familiar with today’s linear TV interactive or streaming user interfaces with its mix of portrait and landscape thumbnails featuring screenshots of content or important art, often displayed in a carousel style.

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