ABC brings live television streaming to its iOS app, currently available in New York City and Philadelphia

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American Television Network has released a new version of its iOS app to bring live television streaming from local stations in Philadelphia and New York City.

ABC has also renamed the app from ABC Player to Watch ABC.

Live television streaming will be available only to those users who have an eligible provider TV account and are within each station’s local viewing area. However, ABC will start enforcing the restriction only from July 1st. So if you’re in NYC and Philadelphia, you will be able to tune into the live content until June 30.

The Verge reports that live television streaming will be available residents in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, and other cities later this summer.

Chris Welch of The Verge who went hands-on with the app writes:

At its core, Watch ABC largely carries over features from the “old” app: namely, you can watch many of the network’s top shows on demand. The only geolocation requirement for on-demand content is that you reside somewhere in the US. But a new “Live” tab at the bottom is where you’ll head for live programming. Watch ABC will determine a user’s location before presenting two options: Watch Live and View Live Schedule. If the implementation here sounds bare bones, that’s because it is. After hitting play, the live stream takes a minute or so to buffer to optimal quality. At its best, the feed being beamed to our iPhone 5 looked fairly sharp and detailed; the source is almost certainly HD. Closed captioning support is also available for those who need it.

Opening up the schedule lets you see what’s ahead for the day. There’s an episode title underneath each show, but no summaries or expanded cast information. You can’t set reminders to be prompted when your favorite shows are starting, and ABC has no answer for Aereo’s remote DVR functionality (which automatically records shows for you to watch later).

ABC’s change is strategy is widely seen as a way to offer subscribers an incentive keep their cable subscriptions. ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney has also yanked latest episodes of its shows off Hulu and ABC.com.

You can download the app via the App Store for free using this direct iTunes link.

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