The news is now hitting the wires, so I thought I’d post the press release here as well. We’ve been working long and hard on the new version of the ABC Full Epsidode Streaming Player as it’s looking sharp — even better than before! That’s all I can say for now so here is the latest PR from Reuters which explains what else we have up our sleeves.

Disney to include local ads with ABC shows online
Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:54 PM ET
By Gina Keating

LOS ANGELES, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday said it reached an agreement with ABC television affiliates to include local advertising in the network’s online offering of seven prime-time TV series, including “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.”

Disney plans to reintroduce its free, ad-supported broadband video player software at later this month after a two-month test this summer showed that viewers could recall the interactive ads at far higher rates than on TV airings.

The broadband player delivered 5.7 million episodes during the test, which featured episodes of “Housewives,” “Lost” and the now-defunct “Alias” and “Commander-in-Chief.”

ABC affiliates had expressed concern that the Web program would cut into viewership and appeared to offer no local advertising participation.

The player lets viewers pause and move backward and forward within an episode, but does not allow them to skip or fast forward through the commercials.

On Wednesday, ABC said it had agreed to allow local affiliates to sell one ad per episode, in what it believes is the first time local ads have been inserted in a nationally operated broadband player.

Local stations can feature the broadband player on their Web sites, and will keep all revenue from ads they sell for the player, Disney said.
Affiliates have agreed to promote the player software online and on air, and the ABC Affiliate Board has endorsed the program, said Ray Cole, chairman of the ABC Affiliate Relations Board of Governors.

“We think this initiative holds promise and potential opportunity for the ABC affiliates in their respective markets,” Cole said in a statement.

Episodes now will contain up to four interactive ads rather then the test’s three spots. Up to three of the ads will feature a single national advertiser, and one ad will be local.

The network will post online episodes of the returning series “Housewives,” “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and new shows “Six Degrees,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Nine” and “The Knights of Prosperity” at after they air, starting on Sept. 23.

ABC also had to cut a deal with Warner Bros. Television, which produces “The Nine.” The show will be available for four weeks on ABC’s broadband player. Warner Bros. will offer the show for sale, commercial free, on various digital download platforms. plans to make four episodes per series available at at a time.