ABC iPad app

ABC will release a major update for its iOS app on Tuesday that will allow users to live stream local channels on their devices.

To date, television network apps have exclusively focused on streaming previously aired material, or perhaps giving a second screen experience for an event, but ABC will change all of that at its upfront presentation this week for advertisers. The new feature will first roll out for residents in and around New York City and Philadelphia, but it will eventually expand to other ABC affiliates around the country. The feature will also appear on other devices in the coming months, but was not clear which platforms that would entail, but Android seems like a safe bet.

Before you think this is yet another nail in the coffin of paid subscriptions, the new feature will only be available to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers as this streaming will also cover syndicated shows that ABC doesn't own. (Think Dr. Phil and the like)

ABC pioneered the concept of next-day streaming for its programming, a concept that every network has also adopted, so don't be surprised if this is the first of many announcements.