“Disney’s ABC network will become the first broadcast network to stream its shows live online through an ongoing service, starting with viewers of its TV stations in New York and Philadelphia on May 14 and expanding to its other stations by the end of the summer,” Ronald Grover reports for Reuters.

“To promote its WATCH ABC service, through the end of June Disney is allowing all viewers of its WABC station in New York and WPVI station in Philadelphia to watch live ABC programs online or on mobile devices by downloading the WATCH ABC app,” Grover reports. “The app will initially allow users to be able to watch the service on Apple’s iPad and iPhone and on the Kindle Fire device, and later this summer on Samsung Galaxy devices.”

Grover reports, “Other networks are expected to follow Disney, as traditional broadcasters scramble to keep viewers watching its programs instead of drifting off to Netflix and other online services. Later this summer, Disney said it will expand use of its WATCH ABC service to authenticated subscribers that receive its TV stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, California.”

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MacDailyNews Note: The Steven P. Jobs Trust, of which Laurene Powell Jobs is trustee, is the largest shareholder in Disney with more than 137 million, or 7.7%, of all outstanding common shares. Jobs became its largest shareholder when Disney bought his Pixar Studios in 2006.