Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD Extend Reach with WATCH Apps

At Disney/ABC Television Group, everything we’ve done since our first push into digital media – and everything that comes next – is focused on continuing to empower viewers to watch ABC and Disney shows where they want, when they want, and how they want.

In 2005, Disney/ABC Television Group was the first media company to sell television episodes on iTunes.

In 2006, the group again led the TV industry as the first to make shows available online on ABC.com’s Full Episode Player.

And in 2010, five weeks after the first iPad announcement, ABC became the first broadcast network in the world to offer an iPad app with full streaming episodes and advertising support. That app has become the 6th most downloaded free iPad app of all time.

The latest effort? This year Disney/ABC Television Group created free “WATCH” apps – WATCH Disney ChannelWATCH Disney Junior, and WATCH Disney XD – that allow kids to watch Disney Channels on their TVs, computers, tablets, and handheld devices, in or outside of the home, empowering them to customize their viewing.

The WATCH Disney apps are the first entertainment apps ever to provide premium access to live, linear network streams along with an extensive offering of on-demand episodes. This premium service, along with a similar WatchESPN service, was recently offered to authenticated subscribers of Comcast, the largest cable operator and home Internet provider in the U.S. We plan to launch similar services with other cable and satellite distributors.

The WATCH apps are important because kids today are growing up in a digital world and demanding personalized anytime, anywhere viewing experiences.

At the rate the tablet market is growing today, there will be 835 million devices worldwide by 2016. The number one birthday gift request is an iPad. It’s also estimated that global smartphone use will be over 1 BILLION.

Mobile devices clearly represent the greatest opportunities for growth for video content providers. And in this mobile world, nearly 80 percent of all media is consumed through apps.

Why? Apps are simple. They’re focused, personally delivered, and tailored to what a specific user wants.

The Disney WATCH apps more than fulfill these expectations and it’s no surprise that parents and kids alike have responded to the mobility, on demand and live options the apps offer, as well as the clean, uncluttered design. Since the apps became available, 8.5 million people have downloaded them.

The Disney/ABC Television Group owns and programs some of the best and most watched and most valuable channels in the business.

We’ll continue to work to meet the ever-evolving needs of our consumers and give them the tools to watch their favorite Disney shows and channels at any time, from any location, on their own terms.