ABC is giving its local affiliates some free promotion on ABC. com and Hulu. When viewers log onto either site to watch a full episode of shows like Modern Family, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution or Lost, they will see a bug in the lower-left corner featuring the logo of their local ABC affiliate. The network is using geotargeting technology so that a viewer in New York would see the ABC 7 logo (for ABC O&O WABC) while someone in Boston would see a logo for ABC 5 (for Hearst Television-owned WCVB).
On Hulu, in which ABC parent company Disney has a 30% stake, there is also an ABC network logo in the lower-right corner, as well as a brief ad at the beginning of each episode giving the day and time that whatever show is being viewed airs on the broadcast network.
Typically, online content is entirely within the purview of the broadcast network or the studio producing the series, depending on which owns the online rights. ABC does, however, give affiliates the ability to embed its full-episode player on their own Websites.
Albert Cheng, executive VP of digital media for the Disney-ABC Television Group, says the local plugs are the result of an agreement between the network and its affiliates. Full episodes on ABC.com have had the bug for the last couple of years, but with the network’s longform content expanding to Hulu, the network wanted to honor that agreement on the upstart video site.
LOTS OF LEEWAY
Hulu, which also counts Providence Equity Partners, NBC Universal and News Corp. as partners and owners, gives its content providers leeway with the programming featured on the site.
In recent months, networks have cut back on the number of new and library episodes that are available on the site, choosing instead to rotate them in and out.
NBCU and Fox programs do not feature plugs for their local affi liates, either on Hulu or their respective Websites.
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