Veoh.com to distribute ABC, ESPN shows
ABC is looking to expand the content it makes available on the Web with a deal to make such popular shows as Lost, Desperate Housewives, and content from ESPN available online at independent site Veoh Networks.
This is not the first Web syndication deal for ABC and its parent company Disney. However, media critics note, it’s significant considering ABC-Disney’s lock-tight grip it places on its content.
However, despite the fact ABC is slowly cracking the syndication vault open a bit wider for online distribution ABC still plans to keep an iron grip on its content. In order for ABC to keep complete control over its video programming ABC is only allowing Veoh.com to show its programming through a proprietary ABC online video player. The way it works is Veoh will not host ABC video content, rather when you choose to view ABC content the site advertises Veoh will launch the ABC video player and playback the desired video.
Veoh users will be only slightly inconvenienced by this arrangement. To view ABC content you will have to download the ABC browser. When I did this, it was no big deal and consider only a mild annoyance.
This means that Veoh is merely a conduit to drive users to ABC’s own website. This relationship is identical to an arrangement ABC struck with AOL last year.
Unlike Veoh’s main competitors, such as Hulu and AOL video, Veoh is a mix of both professional video such as programming from CBS, USA and MTV and user-generated content. This is the second deal for Veoh after it signed an agreement with Warner Bros. earlier this month.
Veoh receives some of its financial backing from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner who was forced out of Disney after a shareholder revolt in 2005. Eisner ran Disney for over 20 years and was responsible for its tremendous resurgence during the 1980s and 90s.